My sibling has taken $30,000 from my mother and many antiques prior to her passing. Is there any legal recourse? - AgingCare.com

My sibling has taken $30,000 from my mother and many antiques prior to her passing. Is there any legal recourse?

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my sibling lived close to my mom and was there for her after my dad past away. i live about 45 mins. from mom's house and didn't get there as often as I would have liked. Although I spoke to her 4 or more times a day. She came to me when she was broke and told me she lent my brother money for bills and frivilous things and he wasn't paying her back...she had no money. When I found out he started paying her $200.00 a month...that stopped when he lost his job. She then decided she was going to move in with him once she sold her house. All the while the antiques started moving to his house before her. The car also got put in his name (for his son). Both he and I are erxecutors of my mom's estate - she has now passed. He told me she told him he didn't owe her anymore money because she brought her meals at night...oh and all the while he decides which antiques are going to his house. Also, his daughter was taken a truck load of stuff from the house to Georgia. Mom never told me about the car, or the calling off the debt he owed her. My brother had no money to help pay for the funeral so my lil brother and me split the expense. Is there any legal recourse?

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My situation is similar to Dlmmwm1. My brother was living with my aging Mother. He never really worked yet said he owned his own Property Mgmt Co. He took care of her until she recently passed. It's not as if he gave up a job or apartment to stay with her he just NEVER moved out and he's 52 years old. My Mother also had a reverse mortgage where she took a lump sum payment. Shortly thereafter I noticed my brother had new trucks and equipment. I believe my brother manipulated my mother into transferring the RM lump sum payment into his bank account but I can't prove it. My Mother was also awarded a settlement for a wrongful death suit of my Father. I would imagine that's gone too. That should be in her bank account but I can't get access to it. She just got it this past Oct-13. There's no will so the estate will be settled intestacy. I already sent the paperwork to the Probate Court to assign an Administrator. My Brother bought a ton of expensive equipment for his "so called" Company and is now in the process of selling all of it off. Almost sounds like money laundering to me??? There's no way for me to prove how he got all this money but he never really had a job. He worked on my Mother's house trying to fix it up. More like he never had a pot to p_ss in or one to throw it out of. Now he's loaded. He also paid cash for the funeral expenses and everything thereafter. As for the Reverse Mortgage, a neighbor wants to buy the house but he doesn't want me talking to the neighbor. He's selling all his equipment to the neighbor's contractor. It's the same neighbor that wants to by the house. I want to contact them to ask for a list of what they bought but don't know if I have any legal right to do so. He plans on abandoning the house. I asked him about the keys for the RM Lender and he's not going to leave them. Since he's already gotten more than his share, I would like to get him removed from signing off on any sale of the house. What I would like to do is give it back to the lender and let them sell it. I believe that's called a "deed in leiu" of Foreclosure. I believe the house can be sold for more than what she borrowed. Do you know if I can do this? Should I just let my brother walk away from the house. Then contact the Lender and tell him I'd like for them to sell it on my behalf and not split any profit? Any advise would be welcome.
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OMG Clayton Homes, I'm havin a Hurricane Katrina flashback. After the storm, there was all this noise from manufactured "homebuilders" in the Katrina zone. Clayton and Palm Harbor both pushing manufactured - which ultimately could not work due to wind durability issues in the true coastal areas. Clayton was especially out there with how easy it was to finance and I know of several elderly who looked into doing it & a few who did in communities above I-10 and using their insurance payments. Crap housing but good illusion on the model homes. Now the Palm Harbor modular homes were better but cost lots more. This was back at 2005 & 2006 before the downturn too.

So Dimm what's the RM situation?
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igloo--you are right on the button!
Good information.
We had been leery of RM's, then got offered a "really good deal"--[yeah, right!]
The more we dug into it, the worse it looked...
And not even based on how bloated the Real Estate Market had gotten.
Nope.
This had to do with Clayton Homes, which sells new manufacutred homes, and, with the "magnanimous" generosity of [Warren Buffet?][which mega mogul owns most of the manufactured housing industry?]
Anyway, he's made it "so simple" for anyone 62 and up, to get a brand new mfg home, complete with site development, on property of at least $75K, and do it as an RM.
But...
they will not give out a contract so land owners can take it to an outside lawyer;
their track record of shoddy workmanship looks terrible;
their contracts are worded to prevent anyone getting satisfactoin from the company when workmanship is bad--caveat emptor!
That's just out the gate.
Then once the place is built, an appraiser that is affiliated with that company, or one of their holdings, comes out to evaluate it.
The deal is that, by over-estimating the value, it bloats the contract value, ultimately making it impossible to sell to a relative, nor on the open market---the company evaluated it, so by taking possession of it, they upltimately profit on it, no matter what the market, and they still didn't have to make the repairs they manufactured into it.
Not good--and still perpetrating the games that put our economy in the trenches.
Yep--you got it nailed.
Real Estate is tough item. Unless that house sells for full value, and it is over what is owned the RM, it's a costly process she will not likely get recompensed for.
Guess I was too optimistic when she said there was probably some profit there.
Family "friction" is a disaster from which few recover.
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Chi - you know dim's situation may end up being where it actually "costs" the executor to manage the estate. The cost being in her none-reimbursable time and settling an estate that has a negative value, so there is no $ to pay for her as executrix to manage it and no $ for fees involved to settle issues. She can't just walk away because of the reverse mortgage as that has to have a release from the court to get a clear title and ability to transfer as per will. I've dealt with probate 3 times - first in helping my mom deal with my dad's death in the mid1980's - simple as all basically reverted to her and my dad was OCD on paperwork; then being executrix for 2 "aunts", one of which was super involved, much "family" friction and ran to forever, the other was easy. You certainly don't get rich being executor but having assets makes it manageable to do it. If there is no $, then you get into the whole issue of having to "loan" the estate $ to close it out. Not good.
Yep it's not for wimps.

Dimm - what is the situation on the reverse mortgage? Has the lender been made aware of the death and have they sent a letter regarding termination of the RM?
Personally, if they don't know she's dead, I'd hold off on telling them but NOT spend the RM monthly (this goes into the same account as before death if you can) and do this till you enter probate and post letters. Once the property is in probate they are limited to what they can demand and gives you a better negotiating position.

Is the house in a "negative equity" situation? You say there might be a small gain - is that based on current comps on real estate or wishful thinking? I'd find out from a Realtor what the likely sale of the property will bring. You can easily contact 3 Realtors to come to look at the property and do a workup as often they are looking for new business. What I've found is that often sellers aren't aware of the costs involved in selling, especially in today's buyers market. Say the house can sell for 100K but the seller costs run 18K, so you really have only 82K. If it's negative to the RM, you can use this to negotiate with them to accept less and to provide the release documents in a timely manner.

Hopefully the RM value is close to accurate.

Chi - you know both Bank of American and Wells Fargo got out of the RM bidness last year. They were like 50%+ of the market. I bet BoA and WF was bleeding cash because so much of the existing RM were negative equity as they were done in the go-go real estate years before 2005.
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IT may be time to cut your losses.
And it might be time to sever relationship with that bad brother. Sometimes there is no other way to deal with it--keeping up relations with him after what he's done, is like repeatedly throwing oneself against a brick wall.
IF one is strongly Spiritual-minded, it is possible to turn one's perspective around [eventually] to letting it all go--you never owned those things, so it really is about the "principle" of it.

It might be a GOOD IDEA to get your "bad bro" removed as executor, since he already pretty much cleaned Mom out.

But that only leaves the sale of her Encumbered [reverse mortgaged] house.
But if you can get a bit of profit off selling htat, to repay your out-of-pocket expenses, that is something.
And it still leaves you with grieving loss of relations with family, that that one brother broke to bits.

It is very hard to deal with, and I have seen it too often, and experienced that myself...it is heart-breaking.

Do what you can to get him removed as executor, use bank statements showing he already got plenty, to get that done.

Then do the best you can to sell that house for a profit--I dearly hope it does--tooo often, Reverse Mortgages are "over-valuated", meaning the lender paid out more than the place was worth, leaving it impossible to sell for a profit, nor for any relatives to manage to buy it.
Do what you can to take care of you.
If it means parting ways with the blighter, do it.
Managing estates is not for wimps, and it really highlights why agencies and lawyers make such profits at doing it!
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I've noticed that there's often this kind of bad blood between the sibling that's close by and supporting (in any way) the parent and the sibling that's geographically further away and less involved. I've had friends who've been in this position and we are going through it now with a family member who lives several states away. He is suspicious of his siblings activities in settling the estate and yet seems to have no regard for the time and labor his siblings have invested in dealing with the thousands of details of the estate and all they did during their father's final illness. I understand the feeling that you've been left out of the divvying up of your mother's sentimental belongings and some of her valuable possessions, too. That must feel like you've been slighted. However, you were also 'left out' of the day-to-day tasks involved in caring for your mom. From your point of view you may not have been able to see what kind of time and work was involved, but I can tell you as an insider to that kind situation, that it was likely plenty. My advice, take a stab at getting your brother to help with the funeral expenses that you and your other sibling are out-of-pocket for and then move on. You and he will probably never feel like either has been fairly treated.
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Why did you mom decide to live with the son who stole from her & not you? If your mom willingly gave him money & a car, you have no legal recourse. I would not be surprised if your mom did forgive the loan while he was caring for her. My dad lives with us & it's not cheap. I'm sorry this happened to you, but focus on the happy, loving memories of your mom & not the money. Be thankful you had the funds to give your mom a proper send off. Sometimes, it is easier to focus on the money & not the grief. Good luck.
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dlmmwm1: I don't think that you have a case of any merit. You can petition the court to have your brother removed as executor with all the reasons given, and I hope that you do . However there doesn't seem to be much money in the estate, especially with a reverse mortgage in effect..
My suggestion is to move on and cease contact with your brother if you choose to do it. You and your little brother have paid for the funeral and burial expenses and that is all you can do. Someday you might find a few "antiques" or tokens show up in your garage. So be it. God Bless you.
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Thank you for your advice. The house had a reverse mortgage on it but there will be a small gain if it sells. The antiques are heirlooms and have more sentimental value than $$$. Their was a car - it was changed into his name before my mother passed - however the will stated it was to be sold and all material things were to be divided amongst the 3 of us. The $30,000+ he got was for campers, cars, mini bikes and paying his bills, I am sure her checkbook would reflect that...Mom only gave me a list of things and the amounts he borrowed them for...At this point I have alot of resentment towards him for taking advantage of our mother. He was manipulative and acused her of spending all of her money on her friend - therefore her sucumbing to his "I wish I had this...syndome. I am upset and wishing I could talk to Mom to get the real answers. That won't happen so I guess no point in dweling anymore - I have to move on for my own sanity but he will find out my true feelings about his actions. Time to try and move on and put this behind m and live my life - I have a clean conscious - but not sure it he can sleep at night. Thank you!
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So you and "bad" brother are executor for your mom's estate? The probate judge can have him removed from any sign off capabilities if you can show neglect or bad judgement. A lot of this depends on how you want to deal with bad feelings and family friction that could go on generationally and if there is really any $$ to make it worthwhile (although this may not be just about $ but fairness). If you really could care less about him and want to roast him, you can do the following:

Now you have to do an inventory of the estate and file it. I'd include every item that was there including all the items that he and his children have taken. This will require a lot of work on your part to substantiate it but depending on what she had and documentation you could come up with $$$$. Then you file that. You may have it to the point that they owe the estate. That at least will help balance whatever is left to you and the other brother. Probate is open court so it will be there for anyone to see. If you live in a small town, it will make for good reading.
Could embarrass him or he could be the type who doesn't care.

Get statements that show mom;s assets as of the day she died. I'm going to guess that he has taken $ from her account(s). Then file that to show that brother had benefitted from the estate and not as per her will. As in the above, you are creating documentation to show unsuitability (to remove him as co-executor) and that he owes the estate.

The funeral and burial are expenses of the estate and you & your little brother should file those as a debt of the estate and reimbursed from the estate.

About the loan, you are kinda s...out of luck on that if there is no notarized paperwork or legal contract.

Now if there is really truly no $ and no assets (like if the antiques are more flea market collectibles rather than items that an auction house would sell) , then doing all this will actually cost you money as there will be no estate funds.

Is the any $$ left from the sale of the home? Is there medical debt?
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