I am an only child so there will not be any siblings to rival with when mom passes; it will be much worse... mom's siblings. She has a sister and a brother and both live in different states. They have established me as the anti-Christ and have made their goals in life to make mine as difficult as possible. There is no grandiose estate nor amount of money that is involved regarding mom's assets; however, the way these two act, you would think there is a gazillion dollars at stake. My mother tells me she wants me to stay in the single family home she owns, to have her 2016 Honda Accord, and the contents of the house. Her brother and sister are guaranteed to do every and anything possible to prevent any of this from happening and create as much hell as possible for me when the time comes. Mom tells me she knows they will be jackasses toward me and she says she wants to secure her wishes are carried out and prevent me from any legal BS and disputes from her siblings. How does one ensure this type of situation when one can't afford an attorney to do the documents? Her brother and sister have "copies" of a "will of mom's " from years ago that exclude me from everything and that my mother claims she never constructed or said the things and directives in this outdated but only documented "will". Things need fixed ASAP but I do not know where to start or how to go about correcting and securing things. Thank you in advance for your replies.


This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
There are reputable online services for making wills. We used Rocketlawyer and then had an attorney review it. He said it was fine. (We have a very simple estate.)

But it would probably be best if you and your mom arranged that her possessions passed outside of a will. And for that you may need a lawyer. She can put everything in your name. She can make the bank accounts Payable on Death to you. Make you the beneficiary of her IRAs or 401ks or life insurance policies. Some states let you do a Transfer on Death with the car title, too.

The part you will need a lawyer for will be the house.

You can set everything up so that when your mom dies, her estate is empty. The will won't be distributing anything.

If I were you, I'd get a Certificate of Competency from her doctor before she does anything.
Helpful Answer (7)
mally1 Dec 2018
Isthisreallyreal and Marcia, I really really don't want to be POA for my mom, since we seldom agree on her medical or financial issues, but she wants it. If she has only SS, and not much of that, no car, no house, a little furniture (most of which is actually mine), and household stuff, I don't care about any of it, and my brother certainly won't (no contact for years now). Do you see any problems with not having a will or DPOA or anything in this situation? Delayed treatment, placement or anything? I DO have her on a list for a nice NH with Medicaid, but suppose the court would choose another. I know this isn't my thread, but while we're on the subject....
Legal Zoom website. Free customer service. Filling fees to the county are all that's needed.
Helpful Answer (7)

PharSytid, a trust is a separate entity from you or your mom. It owns all of the assets and you and mom would be trustees, meaning you are in control and make sure that whatever the trust says gets done.

A revocable trust means that you can change the trust, a non revocable trust is set in stone, you don't want to go that route. Revocable trust gives you more control over your wishes in the event things change, you can restate the trust to reflect your current wishes. You will also have what's called a pour over will, this just states that everything goes to the trust, this is a cover your butt document, in case something was missed and did not end up in the trust and for personal items that need to be dealt with, like household goods and such. It is literally a 2 paragraph document.

One of the benefits of a trust is that it is not public record, you don't have to provide anyone not named a copy. It will be dated and specifically state that it voids all prior documents, including any/all wills.

This would be the way to go if you could financially pull it off. The simpler the requirements the cheaper it is done. Also, if you do all the renaming of assets that saves money, you just send a certificate of trust, naming the assets to be placed in its name, ie Bank of America Account #123456789, renamed to: The Bittle family revocable trust, date 12/12/2018. This is how everything would be titled or deeded. Then it would list the trustees, you then sign everything F. Bittle Trustee. It is actually very simple but attorneys and others will make it seem like a big deal, that's how they charge 5k for a 400.00 job.

Let me encourage you to get the POAs asap for your mom, be sure and do a DURABLE GENERAL POA and a Health care POA, it is a box on top of the form that you check for Durable, this is the key word that no one tells you is the difference between being able to handle all her business or having to have specific POA from banks, real estate etc. I know from personal experience in Arizona and Nevada that you need a Durable POA. I have been able to take care of real estate sales and bank accounts because I had that document for my dad, I even think it is a fillable PDF on the website.

I hope this helps you understand a trust and I didn't just add confusion. We have just finished updating our documents and we had a good attorney do it. It did take multiple interviews to find one that was knowledgeable and reasonably priced.

You can PM me if you would like additional information.
Helpful Answer (6)

Call your local Office of Aging and see if they can give you a name of a lawyer that is free or charges according to your income. (Legal aid) If they can't help call the Probate office. I would do nothing from the internet. With ur relatives you need to make this legal.

Write down what Mom wants. Make sure it says that you are replacing any previous wills. Take this to the lawyer and he will draw up a will. While there, I would ask about POAs for medical and financial. It will make life easier as Mom fails. Don't think because your a daughter you have say in her care or finances. My Moms medical POA was like a living will saying what she wants and doesn't want. Since these POAs are assigning you, you keep them in a safe place that you have access too. There have been people who know there r POAs in place but can't find them in parents home.

A DNR order will need to be in place someday. You may want to talk to her PCP and have her sign one and have it put in her file and you have a copy. In NJ its now a form that is required by each facility Mom may be in to have on file.
Helpful Answer (5)
Before you bite you should know what you are talking about.

When it comes from the states attorney general website it is as legal as it gets. Maybe you didn't know that but I have 1st hand experience with these forms and they are 100% legal, they even state statutes.

The whole question was because she can't afford an attorney.
See 2 more replies
You really do need a lawyer to protect yourself from the vultures.  Whether or not you get the car and house largely depends on whether mom needs a nursing home down the road and collects Medicaid.    Even if the Will says you get the house and car, both may have to be sold to pay off a Medicaid lien.
Helpful Answer (5)

If your mom is of sound mind...
In my state in their own writing on a piece of paper write what they want, sign it, date it. Having it notarized costs about $20.00.
You can have a doctors note stating mom is of sound mind keep a copy of that with the letter.
I spent $2800.00 on an elder lawyer... I put the money on my credit card (new credit card so the interest rate was the intro rate)... let me tell you it was the best money spent... my brother tried every which way he could to get me, he tried to get my siblings to go to court and I believe he will still continue to try. I did not do this for the property, the car or anything else (I have my own). I did it to protect my Daddy in case he needs future care that I cannot afford to give him physically. I will be able to sell his home and car to pay for assist living or in home nursing care.
Helpful Answer (5)

A will can be revised, she can type it or hand write it, get it notarized with 2 witnesses. Go online for formatting.

In AZ our attorney general website has DPOA, health POA, living wills and DNR forms. I just looked at your profile, go to AZAG website, they are legally binding documents, I used them for my dad and I met with attorneys that actually use them.

The biggest issue is that every will starts out with, I, pharSyTid, being of sound mind...can mom actually say that? This could be your biggest challenge, if she is then you can have her follow the format and say she wants to leave all her worldly possessions to you and list them as much as possible.

These documents are typically done by an attorney to cut off most the bs from family, they can still contest the will, no matter who drafted it. To avoid that completely you would need to set up a trust. A good attorney will not charge a fortune, we have been quoted 400.00 to 5,000.00 for the same services, shop around if you decide to do a trust and make sure to title everything in the name of the trust.

I am sorry that your aunt and uncle feel it is appropriate to attack you.
Helpful Answer (4)
PharSytid Dec 2018
Hello and thank you for the information. What is the difference with doing a trust? I read a little about it but for some reason my mind isn't wrapping around the concept.(mental malox moment I.e., brain fart). Thank you again
See 1 more reply
I understand and can emphasize with your situation. It's always best to get an attorney who's experienced in elder law for these things. However, it's not required. If you cannot afford such an attorney, and many of us can't, then you can do the research on your own and download the appropriate template from the internet. Lawyers hate My daughter and son in law are both attorneys and they hate legalzoom. However, I have used it for things like rental leases, wills, etc. It costs something like $20 to get your template that is geared for your specific state. You then customize it to fit your needs. I believe they hate it so much because it takes cash out of their pockets when potential clients do the work themselves. The only thing about doing it on your own is you must file this with probate in whatever county your mother lives in or there could be issues down the road. Please research whether or not you are required to send copies to all mentioned (or excluded) in the will. Some states require that service while others do not. Taking time to make a trip to your local probate office and asking the clerk is well worth it. Those people deal with this all day every day and if you go at a time when they're not busy and you are kind, they will answer your questions and help you through the process. That's part of their job. Last piece of advise. Once you have done your research and drafted your document, you can make an appointment with a lawyer to get them to just look over your document to see if it is correct before you file it. Depending on your area and the attorney that you choose, this might cost you as much as $200 but some attorneys will do it for less and even others will agree to let their paralegal or law clerk do it for nothing. The reason that lawyers make as much money as they do is because people don't want to take the time and go through the trouble to do a lot of the legal work on their own. The information is out there, you just have to go find it. Good luck and I hope everything works out well for you.
Helpful Answer (4)

PharSytid: Your Mom's estate doesn't sound too far off from Mom's estate.

First, since all this is happening because her siblings have a "will", ensure your mother has a current will and it's on file with her attorney or the original is somewhere safe. She can also get you a copy.

Second, for my Mom's house, I took her to her attorney and he made a simple "Transfer on Death" deed and she signed under his notary. That was taken to the city and recorded. When she passes, all it takes is a death certificate to the city/county and the deed transfers to you. Check with your city/county to find out what they have and what they require. This deed is official and takes precedence over a will.

Third, for the vehicle, there's the same mechanism. She would retitle the vehicle with you as a transfer on death. When she passes it only takes a death certificate to have the vehicle retitled to you.

The beauty of these two above actions is that the house and the car still belong to her. If something happens, she can change the TODs.

You didn't mention any financial accounts, but my sister and I were joint owners, so when Mom passed, we just took over the accounts.

Mom did not have to go through probate at all. There'd be nothing your Mom's siblings can do about it.

As always, you--she actually--can talk with an attorney to ensure it's all correctly done for your state and city/county.

I'm sorry you're going through all this. Good luck
Helpful Answer (4)
jacobsonbob Dec 2018
You've given lots of good points. I'd like to add that an uncle who had been through the process impressed upon my father the value of having a trust, which was done (but may not be necessary for those who have few assets and almost no one to inherit them. He also emphasized the value of having up to a dozen copies of the death certificate made at the time of death because they are more difficult to obtain later. Considering your comments about filing one to transfer the house and another one for the car, the need for having several becomes more apparent.
This may not be as expensive as you imagine. Most will have a flat fee. Do it yourself plans can be very expensive if done wrong.
In most states if you mother is single and you are the only child the intestacy would give you the property, even if your aunts and uncles think otherwise.
You may want to look into "transfer on death deed" in your state. Oklahoma law described here. Also, some states allow transfer on death for vehicles.
See an attorney.
Helpful Answer (3)

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter