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My mother has been diagnosed with dimentia and my brother and sister have refused to give me a copy of the will

Houston, TX |

i am in the copy they gave me (unsigned) the treasurer. I am to have reports to my mothers funds for proper spending. my brother and sister have sold my mothers home and cashed in her ira and taking her money and bought a new house for my sister and her husband and claim to be the care takers of my mother. my mother has repeadly been to the doctor because she stays sick. my sister will not let me speak to my mother and my mother can't remember how to answer a cell phone. when i call the number it says mailbox full. they also refuse to give me a copy of her will and they are spending her money carelessly. I'm concerned with her well being and have spoken to her financial planner which was fired after their attorney claimed the "lady bird johnson" act will support depletion of $$

Attorney Answers 4


  1. No one is entitled to a will until the testator or testatrix has died. With that said, you should consult with an elder law attorney to make sure your mother's interests are protected. Good luck to you.

    This information is presented as a public service. It should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor considered to be the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. I am licensed in Connecticut and New York and my answers are based upon the law in those jurisdictions. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if I were to review a client's file and have the opportunity to interview the client. Accordingly, I strongly urge you to retain an attorney in your jurisdiction with respect to any legal matter.


  2. The previous answer is correct, you likely are not entitled to a copy of your mom's will at this time. The attorney must be talking about trying to qualify your mother for Medicaid and while the attorney may be correct that depletion can allow her to qualify for Medicaid, there may be better options for her. I would recommend that you consult with an attorney that specializes in Elder Law. Many of the best Elder Law attorneys are members of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys). They have a website, http://www.naela.org which has a search function to assist you in finding the right attorney for you.


  3. As has been stated, no one is entitled to see your mother's Will until she passes away, except for her guardian/conservator and her attorney-in-fact, if access is granted under her POA. Even then be aware that it is not her Laast Will and Testament until she dies and the court determines that there are no later Wills, so just seeing a copy of the document might not mean much. It does sound as if they are engaging in Medicaid planning with perhaps a personal care agreement. Whether they are doing it right is another matter.

    The question that is raised by your fact summary is under what authority are they acting? Have they been named as her attorney-in-fact or appointed as guardian/conservator by the court? You may want to consult with an elder law attorney of your own to look into what might be going on and what are your options.


  4. I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that you appear to have sufficient red flags that you really should meet with a probate attorney to determine how best to proceed. It sounds like your mother is incapacitated. If your sister does not have court appointment as guardian/conservator, this is something that you should consider.

    As for the "lady bird johnson act," I believe you are speaking of a "lady bird deed." This creates an enhanced life estate. If your sister's home was set up in this manner, it is possible that title would automatically pass to your sister, upon your mother's death. This is something that can be checked online, in most cases. You should have an attorney of your own who can help you to understand what has taken place.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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