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My father (I am his only child) was cared for by my uncle in the last three years of his life. I thought he did this out of generosity and sacrifice but I now believe he may have been motivated by the $2700 per month my father collected from his full disability with the Veterans association. My father deeply disliked his brother but after a stroke and severe mental illness issues he was in no condition to refuse an offer of help. He was living on the street when my uncle took him in and as I was estranged from my father for several decades it seemed like a good deed at the time. During the three years he lived with my uncle I visited his house three or four times a year.

My uncles wife of thirty years is a multimillionaire and they live in stunning luxury. Still, she keeps my uncle financially dependent on her and he has little cash in hand other then what she gives him. Often he told me about some land he owned with my father in Texas and that I would inherit half of this on my fathers passing. He also told me that my father had two storage facilities with many rare antiques in them from Civil War swords that were in the family for over a century to other unusual items. These also he said was going to be my inheritance one day. I think he told me this to bind me to him and my father since he was afraid that with my fathers health declining he might need more help with his care. I was glad to help since I liked my uncle and although he and my father was absent most of my life I was happy to reconnect with a new family.

When my father recently died however and without a will my uncles attitude changed dramatically towards me. I went to his apartment for the funeral and stayed in a guest room with my girlfriend. This was the room my father had lived in. There was a bedbug in the bed and we moved to another room since there are other guest rooms in the house. The day of the funeral my uncle raged that we imagined the bed bug and that we should go to a hotel if we did not like it in his house. We made a hasty departure after the funeral.

A few days later I asked my uncle when we would go to the storage facilities and he said we would go together a few months later in the spring since it was too cold now and they were in another state far away. In the intervening months he hardly called. Once when we were talking he said he was living on my fathers money since his wife did not give him very much. I realized he meant that he was living on the money left over in my fathers bank account before he died. He confessed that he had taken an unspecified amount of money out a month before my father died when he went into the hospital after a heart attack. I said nothing since I still wanted to maintain the relationship and figured that he deserved it somehow for taking care of my father for three years. However when spring came and I asked to go to the storage facilities he said he had already gone there without me and there was absolutely nothing of value there. He changed the name on the storage facilities at the same time he took the money from my fathers account since he was my fathers POA. Now that I see he would deny me everything of my fathers despite his promises and disrespect my rights in this way I am inclined to act to defend my position as my fathers son and sole heir since he died intestate.

Can anyone advice me how to proceed?

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If you decide to go forward in all this, you probably want to file everything as litigation against your uncle and his wife (she is after all your aunt).. If they are legally married, you want to have whatever done so that it will affect both of them. If she has the $$$ and is as tight on uncle as you described, she will likely settle rather that deal with litigation. She also will make his life living hell for a while, so you could get some emotional satisfaction from that too. I bet you can find an attorney to take this on if the wife really truly is wealthy.
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Thanks. Yes I am the sole heir. I could contact the VA and find out what bank account his checks went into. I believe there was at least several thousand dollars in his account when he died. As for the heirlooms - it is true there is no way to prove what was in the storage facilities however just the fact that my uncle transferred them into his name and emptied them out after my father fell ill would I expect not be looked at as honest behavior. I don't really want this to go to court but I do want him to understand that he cannot simply ignore my lawful rights as well as abuse my trust as he did.
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First, check NY state laws to ensure that the only child would be the sole heir when someone dies intestate.

Second, think about exactly what you want want to accomplish and achieve, and how it would be done.

If the funds are gone, and likely the heirlooms are gone as well, you would have to have proof of the amounts of the first and the existence of the second in order to claim malfeasance on the part of your uncle.

Third, you have only your uncle's word that you would have inherited various items.

Fourth, I'm not really sure what could be accomplished and how you would "defend your position." You'd have to prove that your uncle converted the funds to his own use and confiscated the heirlooms, etc. If you don't know how much money your father had and what the heirlooms are, the issue of proof and existence becomes paramount.

I can understand that you feel cheated but I'm really not sure how you could go about recouping what was lost without proof first of its existence and secondly of improper, unlawful conversion. I don't think you have sufficient grounds or evidence for a civil suit.
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Your uncle baited you with promises, he wanted you to make peace with your father before he died. Be glad for the peace you found and throw the rest away. Be free. Had you not made the final connection, your sense of loss would be much deeper. At least you had those three years, so many do not.
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Thanks for your advice. I might let it go. But you should understand that he abandoned me and my mother when I was a child. Not the other way around. And I did not hear from him or my uncle until I was 51 years old. Then I spent three years trying to bond with them despite my distrust. It hurts to be lied to.
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Let it go, it's too late now to prove anything one way or the other. He took your father off the street, so your father had little or nothing. He took care of your father for $2700 a month, which is a lot cheaper than a nursing home. Your bridges all burned down decades ago, there is nothing to be gained. You were not POA, you did not care for him, and he turned elsewhere for refuge. Decades ago you abandoned him and a Judge would side with your uncle.
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