My grandmother in law went into the nursing home recently. She has 4 living children and 2 of them went into her apartment and took all of her things and sold some of them without her knowledge. Is this legal? She has a will but we are being told it is no good in this situation. I assume that is because she hasn't died. But there won't be anything left if these 2 get rid of everything now. Her will states that her son (who is handicapped) gets everything,as the other children are set on their own. I'm just having a hard time understanding how they can just go into her home and take her things and sell them without her permission. Can you explain this to me? Thank You
Your conclusions are correct. They cannot just go in and plunder their mother's home and property. It is stealing, plain and simple. Does the son live at her place that will be the only heir? Are they intimidating him to get the property? If so, there may be an issue of elder abuse AKA dependent adult abuse. Someone should contact a Louisiana attorney for guidance. Use the AVVO.com web site to find an attorney in your area. In addition to that, contact your local bar association for referral to an attorney who specializes in this. Often, but not always, the attorney will do an initial consultation free of charge. You will then be in a better position to determine what to do next. Best of luck to you!
If you liked this answer, click on the thumbs up! Thanks. Eliz. C. A. Johnson Post Office Box 8 Danville, California 94526-0008 Legal disclaimer: I do not practice law in any state but California. As such, any responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to a general understanding of law in California and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.
I agree with Attorney Johnson's response. However, are you sure that your grandmother-in-law did not execute a Power of Attorney in favor of one of her children? If she did and has not revoked the Power of Attorney, then the individual holding the Power of Attorney (known as the "attorney-in-fact") has the right to enter the home and to sell your grandmother-in-law's belongings in order to pay for her care. Note that the attorney-in-fact must do everything for your grandmother-in-law's benefit and not do anything which would be self-serving. A consultation with an elder law attorney in Louisiana is definitely in order to make sure that your grandmother-in-law's interests are being protected.
If the children have gone in, taken their mother's things, and sold them without her permission there could be a problem. It all depends on whether she could really understand and, what they did with the proceeds. If the proceeds were applied towards her care or, possibly used for the benefit of the disabled child, their actions may be acceptable. If not, there may be a problem. There are several options that could be available to stop any further pilfering.
This kind of situation is one that a qualified elder law attorney in your state would be able to help sort through.
Nothing stated in this answer is intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney client relationship.
You may be able to obtain assistance from Elderly Protective Services, a government funded agency in Louisiana that investigates whether or not elderly persons are being physically or financially abused. They will determine whether or not the persons involved are working properly with a power of attorney or not, and whether any power of attorney is being abused. They will recommend further police complaint or civil action involving an attorney if necessary. EPS is part of the Governor's Office of Elderly affairs. Their investigators are similar to assistant District Attorneys.
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