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My aunt and uncle are both co-executors of Grandma's estate but my aunt has DPOA and is heinously abusing it. My grandfather wrote me into the will as a beneficiary equal to his own children, so technically right now I will be entitled to half of the estate, not just a quarter, and my aunt has been doing some very awful things, the worst of which being claiming that Gram sold her her house via a quit claim deed in 2016, despite her having been declared mentally incompetent in 2008. I think my aunt is committing several felonies and needs to have DPOA taken away, and be forced to pay back all the money she's stolen from Grandma's estate since Grandpa died. How do I go about starting this? I know I need to get an attorney: the family attorney was a former boyfriend of my aunt's, which I also think was a conflict of interest and should have have recused himself. Should I get my uncle more involved? Will I be able to get the estate to help me pay for legal fees if I can prove that she has been committing a crime against the estate?

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Just adding my little 2 cents in; A Quit Claim Deed is a deed of inheritance deed not a sale deed in most states. Example, my mother has a QCD her house to me. This means when she passes, I register her death certificate and automatically my name is placed on the deed and her name is remove. I just inherited the house with no sale price. I hope that makes sense!

As someone stated I would get a copy of the deed. You can find it on your city website under "Registration Deeds" or go to your city building and get a copy. The QCD will have a signature on it. It is public records. Plus, if you can get a copy stating that your grandmother was declare incompetent in 2008. How are you going to get this information? I am not sure except by hiring a lawyer.

I would keep all this to myself. I would Not let anybody know what I am doing. The element of surprise is on your side. Beside if you happen to be wrong about your aunt, then no one will know and therefore, no hard feelings!!

But I am with others who are telling you to do the math for your grandmother's NH expenses. Because I hate to say this, but now-a-days you can not count on inherenting anything unless the parent or grandparents had a lawyer to set up all the proper paperwork a head of time.

I wish you the best of luck and I am sorry that you loss your mom.
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Margaret, remember that you're in Australia.   In the US, husband and wife can in fact create joint wills, and for years this was (and still may be) a common practice, especially in families with jointly held assets (house, stocks, bonds, checking accounts).
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MargaretMcKen Jan 2, 2020
Hi! Please read my post immediately above. It would be a pity to ignore the response after the magic words "I'm not sure" on the first line.
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I’m not sure that there is such a thing as a ‘joint will’, and your grandfather’s will may no longer be relevant if he left everything to your grandmother first. Grandmother’s matching will won’t take effect until her death. I hope that you have a copy of the will/s, because the wording can make a lot of difference. Sometimes there is ‘survivorship’ wording, so you would take the share that your mother would have taken. However sometimes the beneficiaries are named with no reference to their own heirs, so their share is extinguished if they die before the testator. You probably have a fair bit of checking to do here, including all the other posters’ suggestions. It’s probably best to start yourself – an attorney can do it, but it will be expensive as well as not good for family relationships if you find out that nothing is wrong. Best wishes, Margaret
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worriedinCali Jan 1, 2020
The OP is in the USA and in this country, this absolutely such a thing as a joint will. It is extremely common in this country for 2 married people to have a joint will.
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Ditto to the good advice already posted. Please make sure you hire an elder law attorney that specializes in these types of legal matters, not just any old attorney. Good luck!
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The Will must have been a joint one for your grandfather to include you as an heir.  I assume this is the situation?   Also that you inherit 1/2 and the other children together receive shares totaling 1/2?    Just want to make sure I understand that.

As already stated, you need to obtain a copy of the QCD from the registrar of deeds or similar office at the County, or wherever the Deed was recorded.   Once you get it, did your aunt sign as proxy for your grandmother?   More than likely the granting authority would have been either attached to or recorded with the Deed. 

From there you can follow the advice already given.

As to your questions, I do think you're jumping the gun as there may not be an estate left.   But I also wonder on what else you base your suspicion that your aunt is "committing several felonies."    Not to be nosy, but what felonies are these beyond a suspicion about the QCD?

Before you get anyone involved, you need to obtain the documents specified and have them evaluated by an attorney who handles inheritance fraud, either an estate planning attorney or an elder law attorney, both of which should have experience in probate litigation.  

Their evaluation will determine whether or not a valid case of felony fraud or other felonies exist, and whether or not law enforcement authorities should be brought in to handle fraud charges, since these are criminal charges.

I think you need to consider funding the litigation out of your own pocket unless an attorney takes a strong position that fraud is involved.
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Before you go any further or share your concerns about your aunt stealing from your grandmother, I suggest you get a copy of the quitclaim deed for the 2016 sale. It's a public document in the county's register of deeds office. If the quitclaim shows the house was sold for market value and signed by your aunt as your grandmother's POA, then it's most likely your aunt is correctly functioning as DPOA to provide funding for your grandmother's care.

Your grandmother's resources are suppose to be used to fund your grandmother's care. Often our seniors resources are completely consumed and they end their lives in LTC paid for by Medicaid. Medicaid will do a five year lookup on your grandmother's finances so if your aunt has abused her position in any way, it will be found when grandmother needs Medicaid.

There is no inheritance until all your grandmother's needs have been met, including burial costs. Please do not plan your life on the basis you will have an inheritance some day. It's unlikely.
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Lymie61 Jan 1, 2020
The way I was reading it TNtechie she herself inherits equally with her grandparents 3 children giving each of them 1/4 of the estate. Now that her mother has passed (condolences Alexis) she inherits her 1/4 and her mom's 1/4 assuming it is set up so that she inherits her mom's portion and her death prior to GM doesn't simply make 3 inheritors.

Whatever the case though you are absolutely right, who inherits what shouldn't make any difference here, the assets and income are for supporting GM now and no one should be worrying about what will be left to inherit. They have every responsibility though to be acting responsibly and in the best interest of Mom/GM and all the money and assets should only be going toward her care and upkeep and of course caring for her assets if there is any property.
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Your profile states that your grandmother is living in a Nursing Home and has a number of challenging health problems. So: your grandmother is still alive and your aunt is her DPOA, yes?

Your aunt is therefore responsible for managing your grandmother's assets and income. She must do this in the best interests of your grandmother. As DPOA, depending on the authority given to her in the documentation, she may well have had the right to sell your grandmother's home and use the money to pay for your grandmother's care and living expenses. It is still your grandmother who sold the house, but the sale was conducted on her behalf by your aunt using her authority as DPOA. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that at all.

Reading between the lines, here is what I think you're describing.

The "estate" you're discussing is not your grandmother's estate, but your grandfather's. His will probably left all of his assets for your grandmother's use during your grandmother's lifetime, and provided that when she passes away the remainder of the estate is to be divided equally between his children. As your mother has sadly passed away before your grandmother, you will inherit her share of the estate. I make that one third, unless there are any other children?

But in any case, you are getting ahead of yourself. Until your grandmother dies, the question of dividing the estate among your grandparents' beneficiaries and who the co-executors of your grandmother's will are doesn't even arise.

Then there are the allegations of financial abuse, not to say theft, that you are making against your aunt. Do you have any evidence of that?

As a first step, I would suggest that you try this. Calculate how many weeks your grandmother has been resident in her Nursing Home. Find out what the weekly fee is. Add up. I dare say you will be shocked by what substantial amounts of money have been taken from your grandfather's estate. Dementia care is extremely expensive.
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XenaJada Jan 1, 2020
In case OP does not know, NH private pay usually runs >$5,000 per month. Then add med costs on top of that. Old folks usually have at least one hospital visit per year.

Getting old ain't cheap.
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My condolences to you for the loss of your mom.

Geeeeez! What a mess. Definitely hire an impartial attorney.

So sorry you are dealing with this. Do you think your uncle is aware of any of the actions of your aunt?

Do you have any proof at all or just suspicion regarding your aunt’s behavior? Elder abuse is a serious charge and you really have to have proof.
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