My baby sister and I have made decisions about my mother's finances, but our sister has talked her into signing the deed to her home over to her and making herself the person who will get the house when mom dies.

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Is your mother legally competent? If she is, then she is free to sign the house over to whoever she wants. If she is not, then any contract or agreement she makes can be challenged. Do you know why she would want to leave it to your sister alone? Sometimes there are reasons, e.g. caregiving or contributions to the house. Did she sign over the deed but keep a life estate? I notice you wrote it would be your sister's after your mother died. If she signed the deed over, then it would belong to your sister now.
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sungoddess2011, if in fact your Mom did sign over the house Deed to your sister with a clear mind, then your sister is now responsible, as the owner of the house, for the property taxes, homeowner's insurance, any and all repairs. I assume your Mom still lives in the house, now as a tenant. Was the new Deed filed with the local government?

And later down the road, if your sister decides to sell the house, she may find herself paying hefty capital gains taxes.... because the basis used to compute the taxes will be the date that your Mom had bought the house. If your sister had inherited the house via a Will, then the basis would be the day your sister inherited the house.  I assume your sister doesn't live in the house.... thus the house is an "investment property" which is covered by different income tax codes.

Was this signing over the Deed due to trying to have the house stay in the family in case Mom needed to use Medicaid down the road? There is a 5 years look back by Medicaid. And when it comes to elders, anything can happen in a moment notice where they need skilled care at a nursing home.
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Sounds like you need more information, and also to talk with "baby" sister - are you the only two children? Sometimes a parent will leave money or assets to some children who have fewer of them - trying to help one who has less, or for some other reason, they think they received less.

So my older brothers received a few thousand dollars from my mom in her will, while I and younger brother received $30K, and my mother's reasoning was that the older sibs were alive when my father was alive, the three brothers, who assumedly received training in how to manage in business. It was sad for the middle one of the older 3, for he was the artist misfit, who left home early because of my father.

But while mom was still alive, she saw the oldest siblings married, living in homes, so she also assumed that I and younger brother (7 in all, 2 disabled who got the bulk of what she left). needed a bigger help to get established.

The family home was left to all equally, and when younger brother bought it, he paid all siblings their share.

Seems you might talk with your sister and your mom, separately - to learn what they think happened. If you feel it is not done for some reason that matters, I think you should absolutely talk - separately, with attorneys and maybe elder mediator agency -

Once it's done and she's gone, not easy to change, but if you feel something is amiss, I think you should ask and speak with alternative and reason.

I don't know your age, but in my generation, there was so much sexism and secrecy around money and will management - being younger and female, it never occurred to me that I could even ASK a question about parental money - that was supposed to be managed for the family, with only older brothers, who were successful in business, being privvy to conversations with mother after father died.

i took responsibility for youngest brother, born with major disabilities, and helped him navigate his adult life - expecting it to take a few years, and it took 40 and counting - I'm on my way to see him in a nursing home. But in those days, parents had no understanding of different disabililites - they just sent off family members who couldn't make it in the world, to institutions for life - so my mother never considered, what if the care needed takes decades, a whole life, and with earning income and career options significantly disrupted, what money should be set aside to help with My retirement. If I had any idea at the start, what would be involved, and how the whole field of disability adult care was changing, I would have recommended such consideration too! As it was, I wrote formal letters to my brothers a couple of times.

Now that I'm 73, I see those informal "codes of silence" that see any upset feelings as a way to feel blame or shame - it's the silence that is dysfunctional, and in fact, if one uses a mediator, or writes out questions ahead, then writes out an alternative proposal - such matters can be addressed, with minimal hard feelings, and those that arise tend to last a week or two, then people start considering - so I encourage you to talk, include yourself, without rancor, and trust that with a process, it will become more fair. It can help you feel aligned with your family down the road.
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Did she sign it over or did she sign a Will? There's a big difference. Sit down with your own attorney who can explain the difference and explain what your POA document allows you to do.
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Oh dear. The sun goddess appears to have gone back indoors.

I wonder what happened? And how she knew that baby sister had done this (if in fact she had)? And why four days later it apparently doesn't matter any more...
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Oh dear, family strife over money and possessions...yet again.

IF your mom indeed "signed the house" over to sis, she nows owns it, or will in the event of your mom's death. I'd check on mom if I were you.

Are you on good terms with sis and can simply ASK? There may be a very good reason mom did this.

By chance, are you a participating member of mom's caregiving team? Or is sis doing the lion's share? (No judgment, just asking).
People who are competent to make their own decisions, can and often DO change their minds frequently about how they want their belongings disposed of, after death.
My own mother has left the "inheritance" issue hang heavy over our heads all our lives. The truth is, she has promised all her stuff to so many different people, it's ridiculous. I don't even want to think what a mess her estate will be in. I already KNOW that all I might stand to inherit is $10,000, give or take. That amount will not alter my lifestyle one iota.

The OP hasn't come back, perhaps she figured it all out, but I for one, am curious as to how she dealt with the sis who got the house.
Helpful Answer (2)

Dear sungoddess2011, if your POA has been invoked by your moms signature then it should clearly state that your mom is not competent to sign anything so this turn over deed could be voided, you need to consult the attorney who wrote the POA and get your answers. I just dealt with this situation and the attorney is your best advice.
Helpful Answer (2)

I hate to tell you this but it sounds to me like your mom was definitely coerced, and coercion is illegal. I strongly encourage you to please report the fraudulent transfer. I've been studying about elder abuse types including financial, and what you just described is definitely fraudulent transfer. It's up to you to do the right thing for your mom. What you need to do is you need to report this immediately and get an eldercare lawyer and the APS involved. This kind of thing goes on with elders more often than you think and what you describe is definitely coercion and it's against the law in all 50 states. Definitely report this immediately and get copies of the documents proving the transfer. If you have POA, I wouldn't think anyone could override you, but be very careful with that power because it's claimed to actually be a power with a license to steal, but even in that case it's illegal because people end up misusing POA. If you misuse POA and you're actually caught, you can get in very serious legal trouble. It was suspected by my lawyer that this is what happened with my bio dad with Alzheimer's, and when you get past a certain age you tend to become more vulnerable in some but not all cases. Anytime someone coerces an elder into a transfer even if it goes well, it's still wrong and it's definitely illegal. It sounds to me like this sister is a vulture who needs to be in jail, it's things like this where fraudulent transfers happen and all too often the elder won't report it because they're too embarrassed to report stuff like this. Elders are actually encouraged to report stuff like this because they're actually vulnerable and not criminals to be ashamed of what happened. The ones who would be ashamed are the ones who did exactly what you described. Yep, definitely call the APS and an eldercare lawyer who specializes in this type of thing. Another thing to look out for is whether or not someone took your elder to the bank for a transaction. This can be a big red flag if they went and spoke with a personal banker on a big withdrawal. Another big red flag is if they went up to the window for a big cash withdrawal whether or not they had someone with them. Now sometimes elders commonly withdraw money each month to keep on them, my foster dad definitely did because many times more than not he paid with cash and always kept cash on him even after I was able to set up online auto bill pay from our end so he didn't have as much legwork. This gave him more free time to not worry about bills. At first he was worried until he saw the bank statement where the bills including the rent were paid. I told him I would've never recommended this service if I myself haven't tried it and found it trustworthy. I explained to him how I tested it with only one small bill and it proved it's self trustworthy to the point I eventually started paying all of my bills through auto bill pay. I would never recommend a service I myself have not tested and found trustworthy. This cut dad's responsibility down considerably because he didn't have to carry near as much cash as he used to. The only problem with the older generations is not enough of them seem to know enough about modern technology, which is why so many of them have cash stolen from their wallets. This is why I encourage everyone, specifically older or disabled people to keep it all in the bank and just swipe the plastic.

It's not just fraudulent house transfers you're describing that goes on, vultures are actually targeting bank accounts, CDs, life insurance policy's, etc. I think you better go on YouTube and type in elder financial abuse and watch all of the videos in what goes on, but specifically watch for fraudulent transfers you just described. There are actual licensed attorneys specifically from California who have videos out there but there are also a few from Ohio, New Jersey and a few other states. There are even some out there who defend people who are wrongly accused of fraud, but sometimes fraud can be hard to prove without proper evidence. Yes, some people will falsely accuse someone of wrongdoing, but what if the plaintiff doing the accusing has proof backing up the claim and it's on public record? Sometimes if someone has been in trouble before, it will show up on that particular county's public record where the incident happened. Those particular public records are free and open to the public.

What I would do is type in this person's name and see if they have anything on record in the county where this transfer happened. Type in their name exactly as it would show on their birth certificate. You don't want to use the short version of some names that have them, use the complete and proper spelling of each name. There are some short versions two names like William, so don't type in bill for instance. This is just an example, spell it out in the long version if this is their legal name. It'll be hard or near impossible to find if they have a record if you have missed spelled their names even by one digit, so spell it out correctly when you look them up to see if they have a record.

Also, pull up the county recorder where the transfer happened and you may also want to give the county recorder a heads up about the fraudulent transfer and coercion you just described. That way, someone will know about it when the dust starts to fly and they must be contacted by legal counsel in the future, and maybe even the APS
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