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I am the sole caregiver to my mom who suffers Alzheimer's my brother and sister own their homes. I moved in with mom to be caregiver about 3 years ago but even before she got sick she said she would like me to inherit and finish paying for her home unless I didn't want to. I told her then yes I would like that a lot but since then I found out my sister at some point has put her name on deed and has plans of one of her kids to take over house when moms gone and I no longer am taking care of her. They plan on me getting out. I don't get paid to take care of mom & don't need to, but I really wanted a chance to keep the home which is just a modular. Does anyone know if there is something I can do and where do I even start? I feel so used and so dumb.

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Valelia, I'm reposting your response to my post as it addresses some major issues.  (I never liked this new format of separate answers that often are out of chronological order).

You wrote;   "Thank you for all your good advice do you know if there is a way to find out if there is already a will cuz mom said when dad died my sister helped to secure deed to mom & said she didn't really know what she was signing she just signed where they told her too which in my opinion is wrong and she has no idea what she was signing"

1.  If your mother isn't sure if she signed a Will, and doesn't know if she has a copy, what I would do is get a copy of the Deed from the local county office, as I addressed earlier, to find out exactly what the Deed provides.    It may even have been a Quit Claim Deed instead of a Warranty Deed.   

See who prepared the Deed.  It should have been prepared by an attorney.  

2.   Generally attorneys will prepare the entire estate planning package simultaneously, so it's likely the same attorney prepared the deed as may have prepared a Will. 

3.   In Michigan, deeds have a section titled "when recorded, return to...".   Check this out, to see if the Deed was to have been returned to your mother, your sister, or even to an attorney.

4.    This is where you might run into problems, as you'd need to contact the attorney (if he/she received the recorded deed) on behalf of your mother, but lacking DPOA or POA authority, the attorney might not be able to speak with you personally.    You could put your mother on the phone, but that's kind of "iffy" as well.

5. My guess is that your sister either has a copy of the unrecorded or recorded deed, but it's entirely up to her to decide to provide a copy to you.  

6.  Something else troubles me:   your wrote that:

"when dad died my sister helped to secure deed to mom ".   What exactly did she do?    Unless she's an attorney, she shouldn't have been drafting a Deed, whether it was a Warranty or Quit Claim Deed.   And was this before or after your father died?   The term "to secure to" can have different meanings in legal parlance.

7.   Honestly, I have a feeling you're not going to get much cooperation from  your sister, as it appears as though she has her own agenda.   If you can afford an estate planning or elder law attorney, you might want to consider that, although you would have to pay unless you can get free advice elsewhere, such as a law schools' estate planning clinic or through a senior center.

8.   The other option, depending on your relationship with your sister, is to have a sister-to-sister heart-to-heart discussion, and emphasize that you're caring for your mother and you need a place to live, so the two of you could try to work out an arrangement for now and after your mother is gone.

9.   If she's not cooperative, then you have to face some hard, and difficult facts.   Are you using your funds now to maintain the house for you and your mother?   Is your sister contributing anything?  

10.   If not, then you have some serious issues to consider as to whether or not you want to pay for a house which may be willed to your sister.   

11.   I think you also need to find out if your sister is proxy under a POA or DPOA.   If you can through the Deed locate the attorney who prepared the estate planning package, you could ask that individual, but he/she has the right to protect your mother's privacy and decline to provide documents.

Alternately, you could speak with one of your mother's treating physicians as to the extent of her dementia and whether she's legally able to create either amendments or new EP documents.  

Every time I read of a situation like this, I feel so badly for the people involved, as the heirs, especially the ones caring for their parents, are often the ones who get cut out in the long run, especially after sacrificing their youth, time, funds, and years.
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If Mom has ALZ then I doubt if she is capable to put u on the deed. And I would question how your sister could do it without Moms OK.

I am sure someone knows better than me, but I would think you would have to have a lawyer do the work. I just sold Moms house and a lawyer was needed to draw up the new deed. Which I am sure we did when DH added me to the deed to his house. A need deed was drawn up and filed with the County.

Deeds are filed at your County seat. You could ask if anyone other than Mom is on the deed. Your Mom could have willed you the house. Is sister POA?
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Valelia1313 Oct 2019
I don't know if she is poa how could I find out but yes my sister is on deed with my mom
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I've seen this periodically here; folks want to "put their name" on a conveyance or something legal.   It absolutely can't be done that way.  

With Warranty Deeds, title is "conveyed" to someone, in this case, your mother.   If no one else's name is included, she is sole owner.   Neither you nor your sister could "put" your name(s) on a Deed. It's invalid, and illegal.

If your sister's name is legitimately on the Deed, it's because it was listed as such when the property was conveyed to your mother, or if your mother had the Deed amended to include your sister as having survivorship rights.

It's also possible your father and mother held title jointly, and your mother inherited it as sole owner after your father passed.  

Otherwise, if your mother is the only titleholder, the only name on the Deed as recipient, or as new owner from the previous owner, your mother owns the house and land (assuming there's no provision to the contrary), subject to no interests other than a possible mortgage or other encumbrances (such as taxes, easements, etc.) or something similar.  

You mentioned your mother has dementia.   Whether she is able to convey a portion of her interest in her house now would have to be determined by a medical professional to determine her level of understanding, or by an attorney who would discuss with her the implications of adding your name, to make sure she understood what she's doing and hasn't been pressured. 

The other important issue that's not mentioned is whether or not your mother has a will, and if there's a provision for the house to be conveyed to anyone, whether it's you or your sister.   That's binding.  

If Mom is still able to understand what changing her Will means, an attorney could draft an amendment, called a Codicil, that addresses only the house issue, and holds (reaffirms) the remainder of the Will unchanged.   The attorney might at that point prepare, have your mother execute, and then record a new Deed conveying the property to herself and to you, with rights of survivorship, meaning that you inherit as survivor after her death.

Sorry if this seems complicated; it can be.    But do be aware that if your sister's name is already on the Deed, unless it's changed by your mother, your sister will inherit the home, assuming that's also consistent with your mother's Will.

If this seems complicated, and it can, feel free to ask for more clarification.  

This is what you should do:

1.   Ask your mother if you can look at the Deed, assuming she has a recorded copy.    If she doesn't have one or can't locate it, call your local County, probably the Register of Deeds' office.

2.   You'll need to provide the address of the property, but if you can locate tax receipts, look for a "Sidwell" number and provide that to the county office.  

3.   Ask whether there's a recorded Deed for that property.  And ask them how to get a copy of the Deed.  It'll probably be a nominal cost.  

4.   If you have an attorney, or can ask one at a local Senior Center free legal consult day, ask the attorney to interpret ownership for you.   Explain what your mother wants in terms of wanting you to have her property.

5.   You can also ask if he/she or an elder law attorney to be recommended can handle a conveyance from your mother to you and your mother, jointly.    But you need to be sure you're both comfortable with doing this, and not push your mother into adding you to the title if she's reluctant or doesn't understand the process.
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Valelia1313 Oct 2019
Thank you for all your good advice do you know if there is a way to find out if there is already a will cuz mom said when dad died my sister helped to secure deed to mom & said she didn't really know what she was signing she just signed where they told her too which in my opinion is wrong and she has no idea what she was signing
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I didn't get the impression you were not working , just that you didn't need Mom to pay.. good start. I got the impression you just want to remain in the home. So moving out and letting your sibs take over would be cutting off your nose to spite your face(, to respond to Dolly..) Get a property lawyer and good luck. If your mom is not suffering from some sort of dementia you may be able to get this fixed.. but you may be stuck. You may be able to get a codicil that says you have first option to buy out your sister? Or that you retain 1/2 ownership.. Hard for sister to move her kid in if you are still there! My FIL has made it so both sons get his house, he lives in it with BIL and his wife.. hubs and I are going to have fun dealing with this because they sure wont move out! So I joke that if they refuse to deal, we will move my smoking, drinking mom in with them :)
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pamzimmrrt Oct 2019
Oops, just saw your mom had ALZ.. so sorry
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Sadly I can relate. My dad used the family home to "dangle" or manipulate my syblings. I am the only one so financially established that the house wouldnt be worth it. When dad ended up in a facility after hospitalization he begged to come to my home which I have already had set up for husband with Alz. Agreed and didnt bother about home and told all my syblings 5+not interested but when dad wanted me to find a way to help him have intimacy (89yrs) I refused to help.. Sooooo
He uses the house to dangle to another sybling to complain about me and they "rescued" him He continued this behavior till finally 4 out of 6 agreed it needed to be sold and money given to dads medical needs. He spent his money on a new car which now he is trying to dangle that to get his own way. Said all that to say this;
1. If you have sybling/s working against you consider you will be doing all for charity be ok with it.
2. How did they get name on home unless it was there to start or they already had POA and put their name on it. Either way SOMEONE knowingly let you caregive for free.
3. Consider "stepping outside the situation" and what would you tell someone who was in your situation.
4. Understand that decisions have been made without your consent and if it was legal (POA) are out of your hands. You have to now put yourself first and let person with control take care of parent. It may be painful for you but the longer you stay in this situation the more you will have regrets, anger at others and self for not being able to help mom and yourself. Wish you the best. You may need to ask if mom gave POA to sybling and ask for copy. If mom is still legally competent then get her to revoke it. If not then recognize to change things it will be a legal battle. If you cant afford then let POA handle all of it and tell yourself you did what was right by your Mom for as long as you could and you may need to move in a new direction for yourself.

Just a note when mom was alive she dangled the house as well to barter for care behind . Dad did the same so now there no $$ left to get from my dad he has no one to manipulate so he is stuck where he is and burned his bridges. He has been trying to dangle the car to get what he wants but sadly he is too much work.
Best of luck.
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If you want to remain as your mother’s caregiver and go ahead with taking over payments in the house, you’ll have to enlist the help of an attorney. I don’t understand how your sister could have “put her name on the deed”. I’m sure your mother would have had to approve this and sign something. Could she had told your sister the same thing she told you? That she wants her to have the house? And it’s true. If you aren’t working and have no income, you will have no money to make the payments.

You need to see an attorney with your mother and sister. Call Legal Aid if you need to. Have your mother give you Power of Attorney. Mom’s wishes need to be in writing and not just word of mouth.
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Valelia1313 Oct 2019
My sister I'm finding out took complete advantage of my mom when my dad died at a time she was very vulnerable and pretty sure she signed whatever my sister told her too ad I never said I didn't have any income I do have income just not from taking care of my mom
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In reply to dollyme That would be for me plus it was my dads wishes as well and my mom needs me the siblings want her placed and that she has always asked not to be placed like house or no house I'm here for the long haul
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Well, then you are where you are. Most do not want to go anywhere, so the caretaker becomes a prisoner without any resources or future. I wish you the best!
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Move out quit your job of caring for your mother, let your siblings care for her.

In order for anyone to take over the payments on the mobile home they will have to be approved by the lender. If you are not working, it is very unlikely that you will be approved anyway.

IMO your best bet is to get your life on track, start building something for yourself.
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