Dad put a non relative name on a property he owns here in Florida plus gave this person the family cottage. I feel this person or persons are taking advantage of him. What can I do? My Dad is 86.

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Roni, just to "putting" a name on the property, are you stating that your father executed a warranty or quit claim deed to this other person? If so, was it recorded properly? Is this for the same property as the cottage that he gave to someone?

If the deed was correctly drafted and recorded, unless you can prove that your father wasn't of sound mind when he did this, or if he was under some influence or coerced by this person, I don't think there's anything you can do.

But do check to ensure that the transfer deed was in fact properly recorded. You might want to get a copy and have an attorney review it. Also check your father's signature, and the witnesses, to ensure they're legitimate.

You should also ensure that your father has no residual interests, i.e., if he conveyed good title to the individual(s), he/they are now responsible for property and home upkeep as well as property taxes.

Check the local community's treasurer's (or whatever division handles property taxes) to see if the tax roll reflect the transfer.

I once had a temp assignment for an attorney who told me (not asked, but TOLD me), to wite out the name and signature of a witness, and substitute mine. I refused, and of course was fired on the spot. Unfortunately, there are some attorneys who don't meet standards, so check out the deed in every respect.

Jeanne, good questions and analysis.
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Is your dad legally competent? Does he have some cognitive impairment? What makes you suspect that your dad is being taken advantage of?

Is dad mad at family members? Is this a way to disinherit family?

Is this a "sweetheart" situation? Is the recipient a long-term friend from way back?

Does Dad live in Florida? I suppose APS might be an appropriate agency to notify, but I don't think much would come of their investigation unless you have some specific reasons for your concern that they could look into. If they visit Dad and he says, "Yup. I gave the cottage to Joe because of all the help he gave me after I got out of the hospital" there isn't a whole lot they could do. However if you find out that Joe was fraudulently representing himself as a charity and Dad thought he was making a donation, that is something they could look into.
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