The family and mother need to see an elder law attorney, immediately. There are things which can be done to protect her. If she is still legally competent a power of attorney over property and medical decisions is imperative. Guardianship may also be necessary. There are many strategies which lawyers skilled in this area of law use to make sure she will not be taken advantage of by predators.
You may contest the will and even possibly prevail in an action for undue influence. These types of cases are very difficult to prove. You would need medical support and hard evidence regarding your allegations in order to overturn an existing will. If you have such evidence, both sides will present evidence which will likely be contradictory. Moreover, unless there was a prior will which left you an inheritance and such was overturned as a result of the undue influence, as a grandchild,...
I recommend that you discuss this matter in detail with an attorney to see if there are any legal causes of action.
If your father was legally incompetent, it's unlikely that an attorney would have created an estate plan.
Finding your mother's will may not be of consequence, because it's likely that the property was held jointly and went to the survivor by law, regardless of what was written in the will.
However, I've seen similar matters where there have been fair resolutions.
NC has laws on how an estate is distributed
when someone dies without a will. It is called
intestate succession. Spouse and children are
1st level beneficiaries. If there aren't children
the spouse and the deceased's parents share
the estate. It goes on an on with different shares
if deceased was in a second marriage or there's no
Please consult an attorney.
Original wills are required. The only exception I've seen is when there was a fire, the person died and there was proof the will existed before the fire.
If the original can't be produced, the estate will pass by intestacy and your father will receive a portion of the estate.
Your trust from Florida should work in North Carolina. However, the ancillary documents need to be changed from Florida to North Carolina. The ancillary documents are the health care power of attorney, living will, durable power of attorney, HIPAA and pour over will.
If real estate has been sold it is no longer part of the trust, but this does not necessitate a change to the trust.
Most often five years is the length of time people associate with getting rid of assets to qualify for nursing home assistance. However, there are assets which may not be countable under the five year time constraint. These are called exempt assets. When proper structuring of assets is done, with the help of an elder law attorney, it may not be necessary to lose your financial assets or the freedom having your own money imparts, to qualify for assistance should you later become ill. This is not...
The executor in NC, legally has to run all assets through the probate court. The court receives an accounting of all assets and makes sure that the assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the will. Therefore, if your grandmother designated that the estate was to pass three ways, all accounts subject to probate will filter through the system and after bills, taxes, attorney's fees and executor fees are paid, the estate will distribute three ways.
Often this process takes a year...
I would recommend that you seek the advice of counsel and hire an attorney to represent you. While I concur that you should be cooperative with DSS, an attorney skilled in this area will help you handle this matter expeditiously.
There are many strategies that are utilized to protect your father and protect his assets from all being lost. Just knowing the social security payment doesn't help me answer your question. The monthly social security check can not be protected in an income trust. Please see a local attorney versed in Elder Law. NAELA.org is a good place to begin your search.