What legal rights do I have? - AgingCare.com

What legal rights do I have?

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1) Mom passed away in Hospice after living here at home with my husband and I for the last 8 years with Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2015. I have had POA since 2013. 2) Mom owned a house that has been on the market for 3 years and my husband and I have taken care of every detail including mowing and upkeep this whole time. The house is 1 hour one way away from where we live. We did not have my name put on the house at the time because we have had it on the market and had no idea she was going to cross. We had my name on the car as she quit driving from fear and the bank account so I could pay her bills and buy the items she needed. Plus the utilities and what ever needed repair at he house. 3) My brother has never been around to help except to gather the goods he wants so to speak and stated several times that he would sign papers to give up his right to her estate because he wasn't involved...anyway, the house is going into probate and now my brother wants his share! What can I do. I have a lawyer but he doesn't seem to be on my side!

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Glade, as mom made the new will after her diagnosis bro may well be able to successfully challenge it however you are still entitled to your share per the previous will before the diagnosis assuming the later one is deemed invalid.
Find a new lawyer who is familiar with this work that you feel more comfortable with and let the lawyers fight it out. Maybe think about putting the house up for auction which will get rid of it faster, if you have the rights for it's disposal. GA may know the answer to that. She has a legal background so you could try PM to her.
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My Dad used to say...never confuse the issue. Legal is what the law says you can/should do. Ethical is what your conscience says you can/should do.

Sorry to say, but you needed to have it all spelled out in an agreement before she moved in. How apthe maintenance would be done on old house, how you would be paid for thiis, how split of house, etc would be handled....etc

I had a friend I recommended this to when her Mom moved in. The divide at the end was to be along the same lines as the effort each put in. Since Brother was never around till the funeral...he got nothing. She was nice and paid his travel expenses.

I am sorry this happened to you. You have the knowledge that he did unjustly enrich himself. As a care giver I know how annoying it is to have people tell me I am such a wonderful person for caring for my own parents.... so, all that aside...you know that you can go forward from here knowing you did the right thing...legally and ethically
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My advice is to give him his share and go on about your life. YOU chose to take in your mother and help her. Good intentions don't get you anything legally. He was her child also. I faced this when my mother died. She left everything to me and I split it 7 ways. They didn't deserve it but that is what she wanted. Now we are all at peace and I mostly stay away from them.
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Thank you all here for all your encouraging words. I just want this whole thing to be over with so I can get on with what time I have left on this planet. Seems that is not possible as the house is still on contract then it will be in probate for 6 months.
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We actually went to this lawyer to get a will way back when and he did not inform us correctly as to what we needed to do and informed us that we could do hand written wills and they would suffice. Mom moved in with my husband and I in 2009 and she rented her house to a person that was supposed to purchase it but after a couple years decided not to and so we put it up for sale and at that time got POA so we could take care of it for her because she was distrought over the fact that the renter did not want it. She was diagnosed in Aug of 2015 that she had beginning stages of AL and she had already made a will but in Sept she wanted to make another and wanted my husband and I to have all that she had because we took care of her. We were not told she needed 3 witnesses or a notary to verify her signature or were we told she had to give my brother one dollar to satisfy the question of was he left out. In our ignorance we will loose I guess...now my Nrother is claiming she was mentally incompantant and the will is no good. He would have said that no matter what she would have done because that is how he felt about her. I just do not have the energy anymore to do this, it was a challenge with all that happened to Mom. Also, he came and got some of the things that were hers from the house here as I let him stay here in her part of the house while she was in Hospice. He came and stayed for 4 days and went through her things at night. My stupidity again. He took things his wife wanted. He got my Dad;s tools when he passed in 2004 and Mom told me her jewelry was mine because she let him have the tools. The only jewelry she has of any worth is what I gave her anyway. You see my Brother thinks all our relatives were rich and that they left a ton of money but this is not true. We were always scratching for what we had and most everything was secondhand. We had all we needed and now that he has the chance since Mom passed before the sale of the house he changed his mind and wants his share. I don't blame him for that, I just blame him for not being part of Mom's life.
I"M TIRED!
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Glodeo, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

Any time a grown child isn't mentioned in a parent's Will, up will pop a lot of questions. Like was it an oversight, an error, did the parent forget to mention that grown child, etc. This is where an Elder Law Attorney would have advised at the time the Will was drawn that all grown children are mentioned, even if all one gets is One Dollar.

It is good that your name was not placed on the deed. So when you do inherit the house, the bases for capital gain taxes will be on the date that you inherit. If your name was placed on the deed, let's say last year, then the bases for capital gain taxes would be from the day your Mom had bought the house... and if house prices had skyrocketed over the years, that could be one hefty capital gains tax.

As Garden Artist had mentioned above, I sold my Dad's house this past summer "As Is", which means no repairs will be done, that the home inspection will be for "information only". I was lucky the Realtor found a buyer who does home flips and he came in at a good price... it was a win-win. Prior I had the house professionally Appraised to give me an idea on what it was worth "as is". The only thing I fixed was have the yard looking really nice. Curb appeal gets the Buyer in through the front door :)

Switch to an Elder Law Attorney, as this is their specialty. In fact, they will help you go through the maze of Probate if you wish to hire them to help you. I hired my Dad's Elder Law Attorney [who is my Attorney also] as the paperwork can be a nightmare if your brain is still befuddled from being a caregiver, unless your Mom had everything in a Trust. My Dad had passed suddenly before I was able to get anything into his Trust :(
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Glo - you say that your attorney doesn't seem to be on your side - indicating that he seems to think your brother has a valid claim. If your bother isn't mentioned in the will that seems odd. What is your attorneys reasoning?
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Glo, if your brother isn't provided anything pursuant to the Will, then he doesn't inherit any part of the house.

Your attorney should be in agreement on this and could write him a letter. Now I'm wondering though why you wrote that your attorney "doesn't seem to be on [your] side." Could you explain? Does he feel you owe something to your brother just b/c he's your brother?

It could be that your brother feels he should naturally inherit b/c he's her son, even though he's not named in the will. He could argue that this was an omission on her part, especially if she executed the will when she had dementia and had begun to lose cognition. Sometimes siblings feel they're entitled to inherit even if they're excluded.

That's the one area I think might be grounds for challenging the will - if she was not mentally able to understand what she was doing when she executed the will.
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She had a will which gave everything to me and my husband but did not mention my brother at all. He had agreed in the past to sign papers to give up his rights so this is what we sent him and he returned the papers changed stating he wanted his share.
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Well, in probate, the judge will decide who gets what. Your POA ended when she died. Whatever is in the Will is now the order of the day. If she had no Will, then probate will divide things up after all the bills are paid. That's the law.
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