My father is 87, residing in South Florida. He is married for 20 years to his 3rd wife, a 64 yr old lady. Dad's wife has methodically separated him from his family and friends over the years and has had him change many of his financial affairs to benefit her. He is wealthy and his wife has suddenly influenced him to terminate all assistance to myself (59, disabled with kidney/heart issues) after providing an income to our family. He had double knee replacements with complications and suffers from hearing and vision problems. He is now totally dependent on his wife and can't use the phone without it being monitored. I haven't been allowed to visit him in his home for 20 years now...since he was married.

His behavior in the last 6 months has been very erratic with him totally changing most of his financial affairs and properties. I can't talk to him without his wife's monitoring, and he is afraid to be without her around due to his advancing age. Does anyone know of an attorney that specializes in Elder Law, specifically financial fraud or elder abuse?

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I guess u realize now that you should have had a contract with Dad. So sorry and hope a lawyer can help you.
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Thank you for your kind words. Dad is worth 10s of millions and is not living hand to mouth. When the family business was sold in the mid 80s, he promised, as a verbal contract, that the remainder of the business would be my inheritance, and even bought millions of dollars of insurance to pa the inheritance taxes with. Suddenly, after his wife took control of the books, everything was liquidated, transferred to her name, and all of his past practices from the last 30 years or so have gone by the wayside. He was also paying some other women, which also were promised stuff for the last 30 years. This isn't a simple issue and all of this was said and done long before she came into the picture. I'm looking for an attorney that might know of some way to prove that she has coerced him to act in a way that he would not typically behave. He also had 60 years to change things it a coincidence that all of this happens once she takes over the banking?
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There are a couple of different issues here.

1. Dad was providing you an income.

2. You haven't seen your dad in his home in 20 years.

3. You think that there is " undue influence".

1. Why does/did your dad provide you with an income? Do you qualify for disability? Are you getting that? Have you and dad ever ( in the past) talked about the establishment of a special needs trust if you have been determined to be disabled?

2. Do you communicate with your dad via letter/email about issues other than money?

3. Do you think that you should be the heir to dad's money, and not his wife?

Did your dad raise you to believe that you would never need to support yourself and that his wealth would be there for you? The time to raise that issue was when he married, not 20 years down the road.
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BigErnie Aug 2018
Thank you for your reply. Here is some additional background.
Our family business was sold in the mid 80s, making him very wealthy. Dad was divorced and married again in 89 with his wife dying less than 2 years later. He remarried his current wife in 95, I believe. Prior to this, I was co-owner of his properties and business affairs. I married in 94.
Dad was always somewhat of a playboy...handsome, wealthy, and he lived well on the North Bay Road in Miami. His current wife began to see him prior to his 2nd wife;s passing and was roughly 25 years younger. From the beginning, she began to demand things be taken out of my name and put into her name, despite the matters being totally disconnected from her.
Dad was never loyal, and ran around regularly on his 3rd wife and paid her rent and a monthly fee of around 3-5 thousand/month. Dad also provided me roughly 2 thousand and insurance coverage as well. I regularly visited dad in Florida 4 or 5 times a year, including my wife and daughter. Soon after he married #3, I was no longer welcome to his home in Florida at the insistence of his wife. This became the norm over the next 20 years as it became increasingly difficult to talk to him. His wife was recording his phone calls and would berate him 24/7 for anything he would do that she didn't approve. He had told relatives that he was afraid of her at times and told me several times that he had made a mistake but was too far in to do anything about it.
When we sold our family business, we had an agreement and a promise that I would never have to worry about anything, as there was close to 30 million to draw upon. Millions of dollars of insurance was purchased to offset the inheritance taxes I would need to pay someday and it was common knowledge that this was to be my inheritance. An irrevocable trust was created and the insurance policies were put into it, but nothing else. Everything was fine until dad was hospitalized and his wife discovered the payments to his other women, as well as my distributions, which she knew about and it bothered her greatly. His wife took control of the finances due to dads hospitalizations and poor vision. His wife made him discontinue the payments to his girlfriend(s) and also myself. He came up to where I live and he resided part time without telling me...I live 3 miles away. He sold his home and properties, business interests, and everything else without telling anyone, myself included. He then called me, with his wife in the background, and told me he was low on money and needed his remaining money to provide a residence for his wife. I would rec'v no inheritance other than the insurance. Because the insurance was in an irrevocable trust, it couldn't be taken out of my name like the rest of the properties and business interests. Instead the premiums were allowed to expire and the policies had to be sold for a few pennies on the dollar. In the end, everything that had been promised and arranged was suddenly taken away after decades of it being the norm. He recently liquidated everything for a few more million, while claiming to be broke, living in Old Palm Beach in a gated community and paying $50K/year for country club dues.
I wouldn't be so bitter but this was promised to me and suddenly, now that he is dependant on her an she does the finances, his behavior is quite different than 18 months ago. His wife has always known aout his girlfriends, but now that he is getting elderly, she is tying up all loose ends.
ts not like I want all of his money. I am his only heir and now I am totallly cut out of everything, while his wife, who was allegedly a professional prostitute, gets everything. I only wanted enough to live without worrying where my next meal is coming from. I'm trying to live on $25K/Year on disability. Anyhow..thats my story. Am I wrong for wanting something out of my 60 years?
This isn’t a recent marriage but 20 years long established marriage with assets commingled. If that she is younger and closer to your age, it is what it is; your dad chose to marry her. Whatever has been done, moved, transferred will be looked at by police, attorneys, etc from within that perspective. It isn’t “he is wealthy” but “they are wealthy”. Unless dad is beyond living in squalor, there is nothing APS or police can do. Not to sound harsh, but you’re a 59 yr old man so not a dependent child, your dad has no responsibility to provide an income for you; he could have established a special needs trust for you when he was in his 1st or 2nd marriage but didn’t.

If you’ve filed a complaint in the past on her (or complained abt her loudly to other family members) & your complaints are “unfounded”, I’d bet she totally aware of all this and you - “Big Ernie” -are persona non grata as far as she’s concerned. There’s a reason why you have not set foot in their home....

You’ve been supported by them in the past - so you haven’t been overlooked. But over 20 years things change as they have both aged and she’s now decided to condense &/or change their assets, which makes sense to do and within her rights to do as wife.

Call him, send him ecards or videos, let him know you love him but all from afar. Remember She is not your adversary but his wife.
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BigErnie Aug 2018
Thank you for your reply. I don't argue about most of what you say, but I am far from a spoiled rich child. Prior to his 3rd wife, we sold our family business for 10s of millions. From the proceeds, I was provided an income and insurance coverage with the promise that I would not have to worry again. He also provided incomes for at least one girl friend for a similar period of time, with the same promises. Everything was fine until his wife took over the finances and has vowed from the day she married that she would get his money.
Its not that I want all of his money, but I am his sole heir and he has told me and others that he has made a mistake but is afraid of her and now is totally dependent on her.
It is more than a simple issue with not getting along with my step mother...I was promised in the mid 80s that the proceeds from the business sale would be my inheritance, and this was well known and basically a verbal contract. Now, within the last 18 months that he has allowed he to take oveer the finances, all of his properties, business interests, and everything else has been liquidated and put into her name.
All this going to a girl who he met at the race track, who was known as a probable professional prostitute. I hate to be bitter, but I'm trying to live on $25K/year with a family while they live in Palm Beach, paying 50K in club dues annually.
As I mentioned, this isn't a simple issue and all of this was said and done long before she came into the picture. I'm looking for an attorney that might know of some way to prove that she has coerced him to act in a way that he would not typically behave.He also had 60 years to change things it a coincidence that all of this happens once she takes over the banking?
My dad was in a similar situation and I was told that they are married so anything his gives to her is his decision and nothing can be done about it.

My dad was left in filth, actively dying from heart failure, not one thin dime left and she got away with it all because they were married, she divorced him at the 10 year eligibility period to collect against his SS to the day.

So, unfortunately unless you had some contract with your dad that he would give you money for x time, you have no recourse to continue to get money. If you are disabled you will need to contact SS to get set up with SS disability.

If she is taking good care of your dad, be thankful that she is there for him and he feels safe with her. It could be terrible for him, if he was all alone with no long term wife to love him through this hard time. Believe that it is no picnic for her to be caring for her husband and facing widowhood.

Please consider your dad and his happiness and wellbeing at this difficult stage of his life. That needs to be the first concern at this stage, and you said you have not been in his home for 20 years so you do not know anything, not really, except that the money to you has been stopped, please do no harm to him because of money.
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