As James stated, more information would result in a more direct answer, but a first step should be to contact any relatives in close contact with your father. They may know whether he had a will. If he did, his executor would be able to tell you if anything was left to you. If he did not, your father would have died 'intestate' which means his assets would be divided accorded to MA law. Depending on whether he left a surviving spouse you may be entitled to a portion of his estate. His...
Unless the house wan in a trust, it will have to go through probate in order to be sold. Check in the probate court of the county where the property is located and where your in-law's had their primary residence to see if anything was filed on their behalf. You could also check in the registry of deeds to see if the property has changed ownership since they passed.
One option would be to create a trust and have the car titled in the name of the trust. Your mother could then use the car for life but it would not become part of her estate. This would also protect you from liability due to her driving. Otherwise, your mother should have a will drafted that clearly indicates the car is to go to you on her death.
I agree with the above answers. Something else to consider, however, is that if only one of your parents enters into the nursing home the other may be able to protect the excess assets by purchasing an immediate annuity. These anuities have special restrictions, so you should consult an elder law attorney to determine if that is the best path for you.
Does your mother have a power of attorney drafted currently? This could offer her POA some limited ability to handle her financial affairs. However, without court approval of a person's diability it is very difficult to restrain a personal from exercising their free will, as stated above.
Current Medicaid regulations permit a Medicaid client to have only $2,000 in assets and a very low monthly living stipend. Were she to receive an inheritance worth more than this she would likely have to use it to pay for private care while ineligible for Medicaid. In some circumstances a person can decline an inheritance and it will pass to their issue (i.e. children), however this depends on both state law and the wording of the grantor’s will.
I’m sorry to hear about your difficult situation. If your daughter’s inheritance was placed in a valid trust, then there are specific rules governing the actions of the trustees. While laws directing the formation of trusts and the powers typically available to trustees are often state specific, a trustee is bound by the trust document itself and the terms set forth in it. A trustee has a general duty to protect trust assets for the trust beneficiaries, in this case your daughter. A trust...
Many states offer rather long statutes of limitations on probating a will. If the will was never probated in the first place then you might have an argument. Indeed, the more information you can collect here the better your position will be.
I agree with Steven. The trustee, if not you, should be able to get a full understanding of what fees were charged. If you are a beneficiary of the trust or a grantor, you may be entitled to an accounting from the trustee that could help clear up the situation. Sounds like you need a bit more information here before moving toward litigation.
You may also want to consult an attorney who is familiar with elder law reagrding Medicaid. If your grandmother ever needs to qualify for Medicaid benefits, a property transfer to a revocable trust could negatively effect her. Medicaid looks at all transfers for a five year period prior to application. Best of luck.
Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to...