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My father is almost 82 and in poor health. He was recently admitted to the hospital for the 3rd time after falling and suffering cognitive impairment (diagnosis right now is cerebral atrophy, mini strokes, etc.). He hasn't been "right" for a while.


About 6 months ago, he moved in with his on-and-off-again girlfriend of many years. He had a trust written out 10 years ago that divided his estate (which is 5 million+) among his three kids and a previous girlfriend. When he moved in with the new women, the trust documents were moved to a new attorney and amended to replace the previous girlfriend with the current (so she gets 25%). It was unclear why my father used a different attorney than he normally did.


Two weeks ago, the girlfriend made a surprise announcement that she was marrying my father. This seemed odd, as he proclaimed for decades he would never marry again.


When my father went to the hospital a few days ago, my sister had to use medical POA and financial POA to get things under control. When we spoke to the trust attorney, he told us there were limits to what he could "say" because he was also the attorney for the girlfriend. This came as a surprise.


Is there a conflict of interest here? A problem? A conspiracy?

I can't tell you how many times my Mom disowned my brother and me over the past 2 years, especially after she went to live in the nursing home.  BUT, Mom always "forgot" that she had disinherited us (she never actually did change her will) and the next day was calling my brother or me on her cellphone as if nothing had happened and she had never been angry.

Did your Father legally disown you? Or did He just say that because He is angry at you for admitting Him into a nursing home?  If your Father legally disowned you AFTER the "doctors have signed off on incompetence letters", then you can challenge the changes that your Father made to his will and be "re-owned" again.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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I'm very sorry that your father's decline has reached this point, and I'm sorry for the stress and anxiety you children are going through on his behalf.

But when it comes to the mess he's made of his affairs, no pun intended - assuming it's not going to create actual hardship for anyone, might it be easier on your peace of mind just to accept it as part of his life's colourful tapestry? Of course one can't approve of a mentally frail person's being manipulated but you can sort of see why the girlfriend (are there any more to worry about?) might feel she's owed.

Perhaps, too, your sister could use the previous attorney as a source of historical information and advice.

I do hope everything will reach calmer waters for you.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Father is admitted now to nursing facility, and doctors have signed off on incompetence letters. Right now, the girlfriend can't do anything.

Of course my father is furious, and has disowned me. That night has was wandering the halls of the facility naked, so he clearly needs to be there.

Heaven forbid he were ever declared competent again--he would be robbed and dead within a week.
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Reply to Silas1066
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Can you get his doctor to put into writing that he has had mental decline and probably couldn't understand what he was doing with the trust ammendment?

The trust may have to stand, but by no means are you stuck with her. If she is trying to rob your dad, POA can deny her access. She is not family so has no rights.

I pray you are able to prove the ammendment is bogus and her and attorney face jail time.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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You need to get an attorney asap or this girlfriend and attorney will end up with all your dads money.

If he can't talk to one client (POA) because of confidentiality issues of another client it is a conflict of interest.

As the POA you are essentially your dad as far as the legality of things.

I pray you can get the new trust changed and protect him from these obviously conniving people.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Update:

Father went into a rehab/nursing facility today. It was just awful.

The girlfriend has been around for a long time, but she was never the *primary* girlfriend --just a side woman he kept around. The primary threw him out 6 months ago, so he moved in with this woman.

After my sister invoked PoA over his health and finances, we found out that he couldn't manage his checkbook (the ledger didn't match up to the checks written), and there were lot of checks written out to cash, including ones for $4000+. Whether or not he filled those out, or his girlfriend did, is hard to determine. She told me a few days ago "his handwriting is so bad now, I write out the checks, and he just signs them the best he can".

Now that my sister has PoA, there isn't anything this woman can do, but she is entitled to 25% of my father's estate as stipulated in the trust, so we can't get rid of her. It is a real mess.
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Reply to Silas1066
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There is definitely somethingwrong.why at this stage she decided to marry your father now?and why having the same attorney?
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Reply to MichaelHarris
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I would say this is a conflict of interest. I would have Dad evaluated to see where he stands cognitively. If found he is not capable of making informed decisions, then changing the trust is null and void. Your POA now kicks in. If he is found able to make decisions, then ur out of luck.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Yes, Yes,Yes! I am no attorney, but alarms are going off in my head.
That lawyer cannot ethically be your father's lawyer or his girlfriend's lawyer. Yes there is a big conflict of interest. I would step in and not let dad marry this woman if I was you.
I would find a elder attorney, or speak to dad's old lawyer.
You sister needs to find out what she can and can not do with the POA'S. You both need to sit down and read them very carefully. If your sister has the rights to see over his finances than I would act accordingly to stop the girlfriend.

Here are a few tricks that you and your sister can do outside the law.
"Tell the girlfriend that you are so happy that dad found someone to love him. Therefore, I am sure you won't mind signing a prenup." Tell her this smiling as if you are happy about the whole thing, just don't over do it. Listen to what she says very carefully. Listen to her tone, is it high and nervous or low with fear in it. (People give them self away! What they are up to if is bad or good.) Look at her body movement. Does she look relax? Or stiff? Stiff means uncomfortable, fear, worry, afraid! You get my point. From the time you tell the GF you have less than two minutes to gather the above information. If info points to high tone, GF looks nervous, uncomfortable than she is up to no good.
If that is the case, treat GF as if nothing is wrong.
Don't let her know what you and your sister are doing. Don't let this lawyer know either. This may seem crazy but act like you have no clue about the law or what she (girlfriend) is trying to do. You probably won't have a lot of time, so make the most out what time you do have. I hope I am not scaring you. Be strong!

Start getting your ducks in a row:
I would turn this lawyer in at the Bar Association. (I think that is what it called.) Before, you turn in the lawyer, I would make Google my new friend. There are tons of legal information out there.
I do believe that the lawyer is breaking the law.
I am sure others on this forum can help you out more.

Good Luck
Let me know how it turns out if you feel comfortable with it.

May God give you strength.
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Reply to Shell38314
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How old is the "NEW" girlfriend?  Why is the trust attorney also the attorney for the girlfriend?  Is it because she plans to marry your Father?  What do you suspect this girlfriend of trying to do?  Petitioning for guardianship and conservatorship of your Father or trying to change medical POA and financial POA from your sister to her?
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Reply to DeeAnna
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