I think my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law have been misguided. Not sure where to go for help?

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Hi all. January 2012: while visiting my soon to be in laws (mom who is caring for grama) I was asked (by gram and mom) to go through grams paperwork to figure out where a large loss of money had gone out of Edward Jones investments. And to get basically things in order for mom to takeover. After a few weeks we got things smoothed out.
I advised mom and grama that now is the time to get with a lawyer and get the DPOA MPOA, Wills, DNR and such in order while its fresh and everyone is of sound mind. They told me that they had already taken care of that a few years prior. It went something like this


they had gone to the local Edward Jones office and while they were there grama had made mention of wanting to get her affairs in order, such as making sure her daughter was able to take care of everything (like make medical decisions, handle finances) in case she became unable to.


Right then the Investor said that he had a friend who was a lawyer and he could come over right away and help them with that. The lawyer came to the office and wrote up a will within minutes. Now this will is garbage. A 2nd grader could've done better. Anyhow. It states that when gram passes that her assets will be distributed evenly amongst the 4 children. That mom is gramas personal representative and will be responsible for making sure that is completed when she passes. Also that mom has only 6 mos tto stay in the house after grama passes.
At this point I kinda made a face and mom proceeded to tell me that it was OK cuz the investor told her that they will make sure all the bills are paid and she won't have to worry about anything financial...(none of the bill paying was in the will)


I have red flags up all over about this. I told mom to reset up an appointment to have the DPOA MPOA and such completed. She said when she called the lawyer he said that she doesn't have to worry about that. That the will covers it...


Now 2015. My husband and I have moved in with mom and grama to help take care of her and we went to the lawyers office to make a change in the WILL due to the death of her oldest child in 2014.
1) the lawyer is a public defender
2) he asked mom if grama was even his client and if they had paperwork on her...
3) he was not only very rude but made grama so mad because he kept cutting her off when she would try to explain why she was there that she could t speak.
4)It was brought to his attention about the death and he had stated that there was no need to change the will.


Mom requested a copy of the will.


While making copies he stopped what he was doing after the first page. Said "oh I don't know why I'm making copies when I already have one." He Kept the copies of the first 2 pages and grabbed the back 3 pages of stack of papers he was holding.


He sat down and proceeded to go through and correct the dates on the documents to reflect i assume the most recent (2008 being crossed out and writing in 2010). Then handed it to mom... Honestly this copy looks like a rough draft. No certifications no signatures of all parties. No stamp stating copy. This just feels wrong in so many ways.


I just need some direction or something. Thank you everyone for reading and for any of your help.

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They are lucky to have you.
Go to a new attorney and get the paperwork done correctly.

File a complaint with the state bar association on the first lawyer and go to FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, link below) and file a complaint on the advisor.
finra/investors/investor-complaint-center
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Correction to Dementia type reference: Left bodies should be Lewy Bodies
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Ugh my mother in law is so trusting and good faith oriented (is really a plus till things like this arise. My life just got more complicated. I'll explain in new post.

She moved here from California. And the jones office there had been good to her for many years. They invested correctly and gained her ALOT of money. When her husband passed (2000) they moved to Oregon (they = gram and mom). They found the local office and went down to get established with the office. The man at EJ "invested over 140k$ In different accounts stocks etc." gone in under a year in a half. And the only binding contract I could find between her and this person stated that he could basically do whatever he pleased with her money especially after she passed. Wtf

The monthly statements reminded me of what would be multiple lost games of minecraft (the original comp time waster) or chutes and ladders.

Here's the kicker. Apparently gram was deemed Alzheimer's/dementia last year. First stages. However I think it's left bodies. But I'm not a dr.

We came to help but I feel like I'm the only one doing a damm thing for her. (Again I'll vent in another post. Thank you again for all your answers and suggestions. She does want to get all the money out of jones. Just have so much other things to do not sure my priorities.
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I began feeling "butterflies in my stomach" as I read through this post and only continued to do so, even though I see that you saw through this flim-flam "lawyer". Having worked in law for several decades, including working for estate planning practices in law firms, I'd say this "public defender" was not only way out of his league but bordered on a referral to the state bar association.

However, moving forward.... you really need to start all over again with a qualified estate planning or elder law attorney.

This is what I would do: Research the Oregon State Bar directory to locate the EP and/or EL practice areas. Check out firms listed, review their websites, look for articles, publications, etc. My preference is medium sized law firms which have EP/EL practice areas, along with real estate, litigation, commercial and other practice areas. These are generally well diversified firms, with attorneys who can counsel on related issues of estate planning as they may arise.

You might also want to raise the issue of a living trust for protection against probate involvement.

Just out of curiosity, have you checked the Oregon State Bar Grievance Committee list to see if the flim-flam guy was every sanctioned?

One specific aspect I would change is the 6 month allowance after your grandmother passes. As I understand it, your mother, you and your husband area also living in GM's home. Six months really isn't much time to wrap up an estate and find a new home for you and your mother.

And one never really knows how long it will take to probate a will, depending on the complexities and other issues. A year is more realistic.

But, personally, I don't even see why such a provision was added, unless you still have a home of your own, and unless the consideration is sale of the home for distribution equally to all the heirs.

This is something that I would consider carefully.

And, BTW, public defenders focus on criminal law, not estate planning. This was way out of his league. I wonder how much of a kickback Edward Jones got for bringing him in.

And that's another thing I would do - get rid of Edward Jones and find a better investment advisor. We've had success and have confidence in Vanguard.
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I have so many more questions but ill be sure to start a new thread thank you again.
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Thank you everyone. Ive worked as a bail bondsman in california and it is illegal for us to recommend any legal help let alone calling our "friend" over to the office. As per the investor at edward jones. I started digging and when i contacted the office about him apparently he was out on leave for an illness. Which started around 2011..... Things that make you go hmmmmmm
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Thinl twice about utilizing the services of the Edward Jones Investments, especially for legal affairs. There has been a lot of complaonts on their business practices.
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Another thought. You may want to have the new lawyer draw up a caregiving contract between grandma and whoever is doing the caregiving. These dsys, making an assumption that one will need to involve Medicaid at some point is a pretty safe bet. So you want to be able to account for where Gram ' s money has gone.

Living as one big happy family, sharing bills and resources works until it doesn't . Get things spelled out now. A small stroke that brings on vascular dementia, Alzheimers, both bring on paranoia and suspicions that "someone is robbing me" and the most likely target is the caregiver in the next room. So you are wise to get things set up legally now.
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PS, will only become active when one is dead. You need POA for the living. That is the evidence, if you need any, that this guy doesn't know what he's talking about.
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Go to the Money and Legal tab at the top of the page. Find a CERTIFIED Eldercare attorney in grandma's area. Never (in my opinion) should you accept legal "help" from your investment firm.
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