Can any legal action be taken to get my Mom's asset?

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My mother owned half a house with one of her children, whom we'll call Cathy. My mother began to show signs of dementia in early 2007. She was unable to cook, I took away her check book and took control of her money, and we noticed she was making very off decisions. In response, we brought her to the doctor who detected that she had vascular dementia stemming from strokes that could've occured in 2006.

In the summer of 2007, Cathy had my mother sign over her part of the house to her for $1.00 without telling me or my siblings, and after she reassured my mother and my family that my mother still held half of her asset and was still part owner of the house. My entire family can vouch for her saying this.

Now in 2013, I am trying to retrieve my mother's asset for her to live off of. She is progressively getting worse, but Cathy refuses to either put her name back on the deed OR sell and give my mother her asset. Her husband who owns multiple properties is getting involved and doing the speaking for her.

I simply want my mother's asset for her to live off of so I can move her to a more accessible apartment. The house she is in now is not handicap accessible and very inconvenient for her.

Can any legal action be taken to get my mother's asset? She clearly was incapable of making any big decisions when she signed it over, something I'm sure her neurologist and geriatric doctor will back up.

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Although it is possible that an oral trust was created at the time your mother signed the deed, the general rule is that a trust affecting real estate must be in writing. In addition, it is questionable whether your mom was legally competent at the time she signed the deed, and the deed can therefore be set aside by a judge as invalid. In order to accomplish any of this, however, and to straighten out who owns the house, you will certainly need to contact an attorney to take this to court. It's also possible that your sister may decide to deed the house back into your mother's name once she sees that you are about to go to court over this.
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I agree with everyone's suggestion to get legal advice and set up a guardian and conservatorship, however, it is very expensive and one must be prepared. My mother-in-law moved in with us over 2 1/2 years ago after having been financially exploited by my husband's brother. It has cost us over $40,000 in our own money so far and took almost 10 months to finally get my husband appointed. You must be prepared that other family members may object to you being appointed - especially if it will allow you to uncover financial wrong doings of your siblings. We are in the same position that Mom does not qualify for Medicaid because she had over $600K in her name less than 5 years ago. I have reached out to senators, district attorneys, and even the White House and only our local congressman was willing to try to help. We are told we need to hire a lawyer as it is a civil matter yet lawyers want BIG retainers. The DA is finally doing something in the state Mom moved from but it has taken over 2 years to get them to believe us that a true crime has been committed and is not "sibling rivalry". In the meantime we are going through our retirement for legal fees. I have decided all the laws that have been passed to protect the elderly were implemented to get politicians elected (or re-elected) and to make the attorneys money. You may be able to find an attorney to take your case on a contingency to get something back for your mother.
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If your mother is on Medicaid, they will go after Cathy. If your mother goes into a nursing home, they can sue Cathy. Call your county APS (adult protective services) and report the fraudulent activity.
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Follow your attorney's advise. I put my decision off too long, like you. The hearing is coming up soon. It will be expensive, but the judge can probably iron out of these problems. He can threaten jail time if your brother doesn't pay back any money received from your mom through exploitation. You can't do that because it would be extortion, but the judge can, if the timing is right. If you wait until the statute of limitations passes it will be too late.

Act now. The judge's responsibility will be to protect your mom's assets. And once a conservatorship is approved by a judge, Medicaid accepts the judges actions and doesn't question every little thing.
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Debi --- yes it will affect your credit. Stay away from joint accounts.
StayStrong--- you need a lawyer. Your parents need a guardian. It does not have to be you, the court can appoint an independent third party. So sorry you feel so burned out, let the courts make the needed corrections.
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assandache, if it is a joint account, the bank will have both SS#'s. They are very thorough these days.
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There is nothing to get back, My half brother has NO money. What about if I petition the court for a Guardian. or get a legal lawyer.
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In Vermont I can, I guess I am thinking I do not want anymore of this twisted mess. I heard I can petition the court for guardianship. I think maybe it's too much for me to handle. Not to mention maybe dangerous with My half brother Jay.
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In AZ one can file for guardianship/conservatorship without an attorney, just paying the Probate court costs, and if one cannot afford that a waiver can be granted. I did it.
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Thanks I am going to do this:)
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