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Now my Dad who has dementia wants to hire atty and fight. I know that my mother was upset that my father made my only sibling executor and himself Trustee and basically had her sign the new Will without reading over it. Her mistake, but she trusted him. 9 months ago, she changed it s back secretly to the way it was. Her daughter (me) as executor, but she intentionally cut out my father and brother. This has made me look like a money grabber. I assure you that I was the one taking care of my mom while they were off vacationing. I loved my mom and she loved me. I had nothing to do with the changes that she made. I want to just give my brother and dad everything and walk away. But she had her wishes; and I feel I have a duty to carry out hem out.
She did not want the family business sold, nor the family ranch; which is all paid for. I do have an atty. But sure don't want to drag this out and watch lawyers reap the benefits of all those years of hard work done by all. There is so much more to this story, I could write a book. My father has never respected women and he was very abusive to me mom and us two children while growing up. I am 55 now and feel so alone. Any advice that will help me or just sit back and let the lawyers rack up a big $$$$$?

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Was there ever a divorce? All I can read here is that dad asked mom for divorce, not that it was finalized. If it was not final then I believe the state laws prohibit writing ones spouse out of the will. In my state the spouse gets it all, unless there are children , and this applies to Wills (not just intestate).
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Follow your Mom's wishes - act as executor according to her wishes as expressed in her will. Don't let her bully of a husband win one more time. Once that is done, if you want to, give money to your brother - that is a separate issue. But I believe you have both a legal and moral imperative to respect her wishes.
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Did your brother enjoy those trips with your father without you? Did he try at any time to help you out with caregiving? If he was not considerate of You while you were taking care of your mom, I don't see why you should give him any money.

If your father, is like my father, us females are nothing. We know nothing. We should not talk about things that we know nothing about. (Only males - doesn't matter if my nephew was age 16 - knows more than females.) If we want land, then we should marry a man with land, etc.... The abuse..follows that chauvinistic thinking.

Your mother, saw the reality, when your dad wanted to divorce last year. All that time, she was under his thumb. Yes, I can see her signing the document. Sigh... My oldest brother did that with me. He wanted me to sign over my inherited land as collateral for his apartment loan application. He wanted all of us 8 kids to sign over our land. He locked me in the bedroom, blocked the door, and verbally tore me apart. He said that I am nothing, I will always be nothing.. Over and over - for 30 minutes. I finally agreed to sign the d*mn form so that he can move away from the blocking the door. I left his home, went home and cried for 30 minutes. After i calmed down, I asked around my siblings. Found out which bank was handling the apartment loan application, I called and asked for the loan officer handling my brother's loan. I spoke to that person with shaky voice that my brother had forced me to sign over my land to the bank as collateral..... I sooo totally get where your mom caved in and signed it. I'm pretty sure, you know, that your father would have hounded your mom until she signed it.

Don't give in to your father's pressure. Your mom and you suffered so much under your father. This is your mother's way of righting the wrong that was done to you (and her.) She may not be an out-an-out defender/fighter, but she did it her way. If she had told your father what he did, I'm sure that she knew that he would relentlessly pressure her to change it again. Be at peace. This IS what she wanted. If she thought your brother deserved it, she would have included him. Again, this is what she wanted - leaving him out. Don't feel bad. Like you said, this is what she wanted. So be it.
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Doodle, I didn't realise how recent your mother's passing was. You must still feel very raw, I'm so sorry.

You mention that your father asked your mother for a divorce last year? That raises two separate points:

1. It explains your mother's decision to alter her will perfectly, and therefore puts any other questions - about your influence, for example - in the shade.

2. It makes me wonder about your father's capacity. Was he serious? Did he understand what he was saying? This is the kind of thing that dementia throws up, and it could be an indication of his mental state over some time.

But either way, and given your mother's care in drawing up her new will, I again really don't think your father's challenge, should it come to that, will get out of the starting blocks. Check with your lawyer, or your late mother's lawyer, by all means; but above all rest your mind. Least of your worries, really. Wishing you comfort.
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Awe Doodlebug, hang tough. And know you are not alone, we're all thinking of you, and so many of us do understand the era when women did avoid confrontation in the family, even though often times they and/or their parents were the ones who actually provided the money.

It's your Mom's last wishes, sacred territory. She knew you well enough to figure you had the guts to do this, so stop worrying, honor her, as she knew you would. As far as Bro, after you win, I am sure Mom also knew you would be fair to him. But looks like to me, as she had the advantages that come with age she thought better of the male dominance she allowed in the family, (must have not thought ...for not much reason), and wanted you to be in the driver's seat continuing into the future.

If Dad's facilities are not there in full force, yep, you are quite right, he could be a great target for a new wife, (a 2 year marriage that undoes all you and your Bro did, and gets passed to her 5 kids). LOL, but you know what I mean, and it does happen. Looks like you need to "wear the pants", ..then also be fair to Bro as she knew you would. You're right, a month into this is no where near long enough to adjust, 2 years will help, ...hold tight. ;-)

Sit back and smile, I'm betting Mom knew this was coming.
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My mother would always avoid any confrontation. Believe me when I say she knew what she was doing. I did not facilitate it, but she did have it professionally video taped, because she/God knew that my father has always been a control freak, and he would get a new girlfriend/wife and leave my brother and I 12-1/2 % each of the estate, while dad (with early signs of dementia) would sell out and my brother and I would lose the family business and farm. We have both worked for the family business most of our lives. I was not in the room when interview, will, or video was made. How can they say that "I" want all the things my mother left me in her last will and testament. I guess when dad ask mom for a divorce last year, she came and stayed with me and it set her off, when she found out he had changed her will without her knowledge. She was tricked into signing that one in 2010 without reading over it. This is all so sad and I feel alienated from the whole family. He's turned everyone against me with made up lies about me. Overwhelmed at this point. The STRESS alone is going to kill me. I'm turning it all over to the lawyers and God🙏😇. Still mourning my mother passing. It has not even been a month😥😥😥😢😢😢😢😥😥
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Hm.

In the same breath, you say that your mother went along with your father's wishes because she trusted him, and then that 9 months ago she secretly changed her will and cut him and your brother out of it.

What caused her to have this abrupt change of heart? And - while I completely accept that you had nothing to do with the content - how did she go about having her final will drawn up? Did you facilitate it?

Your mother would have been better advised to front it out, make her will, and tell your father to mind his own business about its content - it's a great pity that you weren't able to support her in doing that, because it would have left a great deal less room for mischief later. But too late for hindsight. Provided that the will was handled professionally by competent lawyers, your father - even if he acts on his threats - shouldn't get very far. What's your brother's take on all this?
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Were Mom & Dad married at time of mom's death? If so, depending on state, dad is entitled to 1/3 to 1/2 or more of their joint assets. Mom can't write dad out of will entirely--only way to do that is to divorce him.
If they were divorced then yes mom can leave her assets to anyone she wishes.
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I'm not a legal expert, by any means, but it sounds like she may have been trying to protect the property from having to be sold to provide for your father's long-term care. By leaving it to you, it won't be under Medicaid scrutiny, right? That's assuming it was hers to leave. Property laws being what they are, and varying from state to state, if the property was jointly owned, perhaps she only left her "half" to you.

You'll find all that out when you begin the probate process, I'm sure.
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Keep your confidence up and deal with your dad as things come up. I would bet that if he goes to a lawyer, he will be told that he has no case and filing a challenge would cost a bunch. If he finds a shyster who will take his money (I doubt that anyone would take it on contingency as the odds of winning are small) you simply file the medical information with your reply.
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Proceed with executing her last will. Dad may or may not have the cognitive ability to go out an hire an attorney. Cross that bridge when you come to it.

Give some more thought about your relationship with your brother. Is the execution of this will going to drive a permanent wedge between you? If that wouldn't be a loss, then don't worry about that either, but I would try to respond to my brother's feelings on this matter if my relationship with him was important to me. Even if the relationship is unimportant to you, brother could take up dad's cause (since he'll benefit, too), and he would be much harder to fight.
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Dear Doodlebug, awe, I'm sorry for you having to go through this alone. When you say your Mom secretly changed it back to the way it was 9 months ago, it says 2 things to me as a non bias 3rd party. She spelled out her intentions not once, but twice. She was no longer willing to put up with being bullied, nor willing to let you be bullied any longer either. I wouldn't let her down.

Never mind the $ for a minute, but how will you feel the rest of your life if you feel like you let someone "kick her when she was down" so to speak, when she was not there and couldn't even stand up for herself? The sadness and loss is going to be hard enough without having any sinking feelings tacked on when you think of her, her life, who she was, what she stood for, and what she meant to you.

I'd fight. If I wasn't super confident with my ATTNY, I'd have a look around. Is the President of your State Bar Association taking cases like yours? Can that office offer you a referral if that isn't his or her area of expertise? ;-) A lot of times it's the known integrity of an ATTNY that wins a case. Your case is based on nothing but integrity. And yep, I'd sit back and let it go to fees, (worse case scenario), before I'd let him tromp on my Mom again. Of course you are always free to share with your Bro whatever you see fit AFTER it becomes yours, ...I'd bet Mom left you in charge for a reason. ;-)
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Hi Doodle, Your question indicates that Dad 'WANTS to hire an attorney' to fight your Mom's will. Sit back and wait until this happens... IF IT HAPPENS. Many people talk about fighting Wills. Often (not always) it is bluster and their personal hurt talking. You may quietly gather appropriate documents SHOULD he actually move on this step. Your Mom's attorney had the responsibility to make sure she was not under duress and that she was competent to create and sign a Will. You have no need to spend money now. Probate the Will, administer the Trust . Proceed with the appropriate steps. If your Dad is not part of these proceedings, there is no need to aprise him of your work on this project.
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Yes, her new will is indeed her "last" will...I have no quarrel with that...however, you may feel better in the long run if you consider sharing the estate to some extent with dad and other immediate survivors....In such a case, you might want to consider having dad's portion put into a trust with some stipulations about withdrawals, seeing as how he is afflicted with dementia...

Of course, the issue of your dad contesting the final will is another matter, and if that is settled so that mom's most current will emerges as the "winner", then you still may wish to consider sharing....

Not my circus, not my monkeys, but felt I should chime in...
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If your father has documented dementia, not much of what he does is legal. Tell your attorney to tell his attorney the Will is the way your mother wanted it citing the previous Will, and go on with your life. He will die with dementia and then you don't have to worry about him any longer. I am sorry for the loss of your mother.
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Does your father have dementia? He wouldn't be capable of being the executor. I agree, get his health records to a lawyer or the court. i Know it sounds harsh, but it needs to be done.
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If dad has dementia as much as he may talk about getting an attorney and fighting the will he may simply not have the ability to do so. Does he have a family member on his side who will take this on on behalf of your father?
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Ask your attorney to send your fathers health records for the past two years. This will prove he has dementia, and its severity which could be helpful in a court of law should it go that far.

Try not to take all of this too personally, I know that won't be easy, however, your Mom knew what she wanted for you. As for your father, he has dementia, and that just means that he is not clear of mind and cannot change the deterioration of his brain and can no longer always act in a rational way.
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