My mother had Dementia but it didn't start to get real bad until the last year or two. She passed recently. My step father who got POA in the past year, sold off the cars that were in her name. the house was in her name and somehow he recently got on the title for the house. He liked NO ONE on her side of the family. I believe while she was incapacitated he might have changed the will. He just said she left me everything without showing me the will. We fell out completely as what he pulled at her funeral and how badly he treated me before she died was the last straw for me. His daughter is an attorney and I'm sure he thinks he is covered and enjoying screwing me and my brothers over. I am going to check with the probate court to see if the will was recently changed, I will know by the date and signature if he made her sign a new will. What grounds can I challenge this will of he gets "Everything" I know he was draining her dry while he socked his cash away in a safe in the house so there would be no bank account record. She told me this maybe a year before the decline was starting to be noticeable. Its not really about the money or her things, its about getting justice. He was a mean vindictive man that I had to walk on glass to be a part of my mothers life and I'd rather see him serving time in jail for fraud than get anything monetarily. When he got involved with my mother he had less than nothing. She had the money, jewels, house, car, everything, They were together for 28 years and I know doubt they loved each other for most of it and being a text book narcissist he loved the admiration from my mother but in her last couple of years instead of getting her real help he let her just decline after she no longer could look after him the way he wanted. I had no say and it was awful to see him drag her around everywhere when she was so tired. He did other things that were awful like letting her wear 5 shirts sweaters and jackets when it was 90 degrees out and other things I don't want to discuss but I know he forced her end sooner than it had to be. I don't believe the hospice nurse didn't know how to hook up the oxygen in the end and I think he overdosed her on morphine to get it over with. I want justice. Is there any tips anyone can give me or a good direction to go or know of any good probate attorneys (sites to look at perhaps)?

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The best legal way to disinherit someone (to the best of my knowledge) is through an "in terrorem" clause.   I rather doubt that is included in the will as it affects you though, unless his daughter created a codicil to the existing will (typically done this way as opposed to creating a new will entirely).   The in terrorem clause rather insultingly can bequeath $1.00 to a specific individual, with the proviso that that's all that potential individual gets.  Period. 

This does vary by state though, so you'll need to search online for the "in terrorem" laws of your particular state. ; and

The second link provides examples of this clause in CA and Mississippi.   If you're not in those states, you'd have to either search on your own, or have an attorney do it for you (the better choice).

The best method is to find a good attorney, not just a probate attorney, but a probate litigation attorney.   The latter will institute research efforts that wouldn't otherwise be done by a probate attorney who doesn't get involved in research in contested matters.  

This attorney would check the Register of Deeds' documents to find all transactions on your mother's property (including how title was changed), and perform other tasks to get the data necessary to determine whether fraud or other nefarious activity was involved.

Your profile doesn't include any location, so I can't recommend specific sources, but contact the state bar association, indicate you need a probate litigator, give the geographic area, then research the suggested litigators online.  Do the same with the county bar association.  You're looking for "practice areas" or  "probate litigation", and "probate" if there are none in the first category. 

Then contact potential litigators, explain the situation and ask for a meeting to discuss options.   Bring all the data you have to the first meeting.  At that time, the attorney may accept the case, may not accept the case, may tell you that there are no grounds, or may do some investigation before accepting the case.

I'm familiar with "good probate attorneys", but you haven't provided any geographic information, so the ones I know may or may not even be in your state.
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Dziflame33 Dec 2021
Thank you for your response. I am in Indiana, I found someone (locally) who may take my case. Calling in to them with a set appt. next week from legal I have been researching when I have the time and energy to do so and found that if she signed anything while having dementia it is fraud but my stepfather got P.O.A. in the past six months before she passed away, taking over all that she had in just her name. My mother would have never wanted this for me and would be livid that I'm having to go through all this pain and anguish he didn't need to cause. I moved back to the area in 2007 and I saw them at least once a week or talked to them a couple times a week and when it suddenly got bad, except for working I was there every night. I was not estranged from her or them for that matter. I was very confused as to why he seemed so mean to me a few weeks before she passed. I always new he was a narcissist but I didn't know the extent of his greed and his malicious behavior. Just last week he left 4 bags and 2 shoe boxes full of expensive jewelry boxes and bags with nothing in them, or marbles in them or a small piece of broken junk jewelry, at my door. She kept the "junk" for repurposing and was very talented at making jewelry as well. I have him on my ring video standing outside my condo looking through a window waiting for me to open my door and see my reaction to what seemingly was giving me the only thing I asked for. He made sure there was not one scrap of valuable jewelry in there and it must have taken him hours and hours to do all that. Absolutely sickens me.
I'm sorry for what you're going through.

Even though you may 'feel' that you are entitled to some of mom's estate, the truth is, most wills/trusts state that the surviving spouse is first in line, and are written to show that. If you are not included in the will, then you're not. Hard to swallow, but it happens all the time.

You decide to contest this, you need FACTS not FEELINGS. And lawyers are very expensive and will charge a lot. Likely more than you'll ever see.

I know this hurts. My own mom didn't write me out of her will, but put in a 'bill' that I am supposed to 'pay' the trust before I can inherit my portion. I found out about this and was hurt to the core. I have no idea what the bill is even FOR...and I'd feel WORSE, but the YB who added on to his home and has cared for her for 23 years has been 'billed' 4xs what I was 'billed'.

One quick phone call to my lawyer son and he said this 'bill' was basically a posthumous 'FU', not legal and ill thought out.

Mom is still alive and may very likely outlive me. Her estate is small and my heart is still so hurt when I let my thinking go to this. My YB doesn't know about this 'bill' as the FPOA YB took the papers and had them looked at by an attorney and then they were destroyed. It would break YB's heart if he knew this.

If I were you, I would simply move on. This little thing I've dealt with has been so hard, and it was NEVER about the money (only $1500)..but about what may have been behind it.

(BTW, my son told me to confront my mother about this--but I chose not to. She's not hitting on all cylinders and would deny writing it. I don't want or need the grief).

Like I often say--families are great, until they're not. Don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed.
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I am sorry for your loss.

May The Lord give you grieving mercies and comfort.
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POA ends with death. There is now an "executor" of this will. Wills must be filed in court. The fact that the father has an attorney daughter, if this crew is indeed as "nefarious" as you suggest, doesn't bode well. You would have to be able to PROVE with absolute proof, when you challenged a will (assuming you were left nothing and the husband is the executor of the will which would honestly be the "norm") that your Mother was not estranged from you, that she was diagnosed by two doctors with dementia so severe that she was not competent when the will was signed.
So firstly you need to see the will. As I said, unless it is a TRUST (which you would have zero rights to see) the will must be filed. So go to the probate court and look for a will. If you are written out of the will the language should be clear (ie. "I leave 1.00 (or zero) to my daughter because we are estranged and she does not need my money").
You are going to need an attorney for all of this. Unfortunately, at 350.00 up per hour this case could be a great deal of expense. The estate of a wedded woman or man is often left to spouse for the remainder of their life care.
I am sorry that your mother, if she has funds of her own, did not, when competent, foresee these problems. Your current dilemma serves as a message to us all to create a clear Trust or Will and be certain our family has copies or is informed (that isn't to say that some evil-doer cannot work their magic if we subsequently become incompetent, but there is not a whole lot that can be done about that).
Sorry for the trauma. Do know that you are going to need to watch the amount of money you wish to invest into Lawyers for what may be a losing and traumatic battle. It may be best to move on with your life now.
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Get a probate attorney ASAP. POA ends at death, so stepfather had zero rights to do anything with Mom's assets after she died using his POA.
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