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My sister hid my mom in a nursing home and cheated me out of my inheritance


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Mar 25, 2010
My sister hid my mom in a nursing home and cheated me out of my inheritance

By Quentin Fottrell
Published: Sept 27, 2016 5:22 a.m. ET

Her elderly mother went missing for seven years

Terrence Horan/MarketWatch

Dear Moneyologist,

For years, my parents depended on me. But my father died and I believe I was cheated out of my inheritance by my sibling. My sister gave my part to her husband. I was told that our other two siblings were given $10,000 each. I know for a fact that there was $45,000 in his estate, not including the family home.

After my father’s death, my mother suddenly became a different person. I became the enemy. I was told my mother was afraid of me. I did not know where mom was for seven years. I eventually found her and she was put in a nursing home. It turned out she was suffering with dementia. My sister never went to see mother. (The staff said they had never met my sister.)

When I started asking questions about my mother’s money my sister hung up the phone on me. Of my mom’s three children, my sister’s husband makes over $100,000 a year. I am on disability and my other sibling earns $30,000 a year. It may sound like a small sum, but it would mean a great deal to us. Do I have any right to fight for my inheritance?

Linda in Oklahoma

Dear Linda,

I’m sorry that your sister appears to have cheated you out of your inheritance but I am more disturbed that your mother was spirited away for seven years. I’m curious to know how you found her after all this time and what efforts you made to locate her in the interim period, and whether you have reported any of this to the authorities. It seems to me that your inheritance should be the least important matter here and your mother’s well-being should be paramount.

Assuming your mother is still alive, then you would need to empower yourself legally to determine the financial status of an incapacitated individual, says Blake Harris, an attorney at Mile High Estate Planning in Denver. “If an individual is incapacitated, then their finances would either be managed by a court appointed conservator or their agent under their power of attorney,” he says.

It seems to me that your inheritance should be the least important matter here and your mother’s well-being should be paramount.
The Moneyologist

A power of attorney is an inexpensive written legal document that gives an individual the right to make financial decisions on behalf of another person; an “attorney-in-fact” or agent is the person who is making those decisions. Ask the agent for the financial plan. If you can’t locate the agent or the agent is not willing to share that information, Harris says, you should petition the court to contest the power of attorney and request a copy of your mom’s financial plan.

Similarly, if no power of attorney exists, Harris says your mother would have a court appointed conservator and as you are an interested party — usually an immediate family member or other close relative — you could petition the court to review your mother’s financial plan. That said, if your mother’s estate was worth $45,000, it’s highly unlikely there’s much left after seven years.

Given that your mother has been left to end her days alone, this strikes me more of a case of elder abuse, something that is commonly under-reported, according to the nonprofit National Adult Protective Services Association. They include using a power of attorney to access a person’s finances or even taking advantage of joint bank accounts. Make your mother’s health and safety your priority, not the inheritance (if it even still exists).



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Mar 31, 2010
That's one family member I would be putting hands on.


God,Donald Trump,most in GIM2 I Trust. OTHERS-meh
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Apr 4, 2010
My step-father put the screws to me and my brothers when our mom died. They had a survivor will where whoever went first all property transferred to the survivor. Mom said she did it that way because it was the cheapest and Step daddy had agreed (verbally to mom) that he would split the House if she passed first (which she did) half to him and half split between me and my two brothers. (It was Mom's house as it was paid-off prior to their marriage). Me and my brothers agreed to it has it was Mom's wish. (She had told us at a holiday get-together of "the plan")
Within four months of mom's death step-daddy married the mother of my mom's and his church pastor. Church Mom transferred All her property to her children prior to their marriage.
My youngest brother received a copy of step daddy's will shortly after their marriage. I had been disowned and my middle brother had been disowned. In the will he claimed he had notified us and we knew the reason(s) for the disown-ments. (ALL FALSE)
When step-daddy died about a year and a half later a new will was made available. ALL THREE of US had now been disowned and ALL PROPERTY went to Pastor's Mommy. She died within the same year step-daddy did.

It was NOT her "FIRST RODEO" but it was her LAST.