I was told today that since my brother took my mother too the attorney to make the new deed and will and he knew of her dementia at the time that this is elder abuse. Who would know about this? I was told to call the police.
The simplest solution to me would be to speak with your mother and your brother and find out what really happened (whether it was her idea or his, whether she remembers in detail what happened, whether she can explain the contents of her new will to you).
Next, I would suggest you speak with the attorney and ask the attorney whether he or she felt that your mother is of the right state of mind to execute a will and is aware of her dementia. Your mother may have been having what is known as a "lucid interval" (where one who is normally not able to make these decisions for themselves has a period of clear-mindedness and meets the requisite standard for capacity).
At this point there are too many questions that need answering first.
This response is for general information purposes only and does not establish any attorney - client relationship or privilege. I am based in Orlando, Florida and therefore my comments may solely reflect the laws of the State of Florida.
You could call the police. In my experience, it would be a highly atypical outcome if they did much about this. An alternative would be contacting Adult Protective Services, which would be more likely to investigate. HOWEVER, let me make a couple observations. Mother has dementia, so I hope she has executed proper estate planning documents in the past or will do so while competent. A proper estate plan probably includes financial Power of Attorney, medical Power of Attorney, a Will and plans for handling her real estate. Dementia is a progressive illness often leading to the need for expensive institutionalized care and there is typically very limited help paying for that care. Many dementia patients end up exhausting their entire life savings paying for care. Absent advance planning, many dementia patients will end up with Medicaid estate recovery claims that result in the loss of the home to the State Medicaid program. It is always best IF the family can work together cooperatively. I've given you some general issues to consider here and I am not making judgments about anyone because I don't know any of the people or specific facts involved here. I would probably start with talking with your mother to the extent possible and with your brother. Many, many families get into conflict in these kinds of situations. I have seen many families torn apart by these kinds of situations. In some of those situations, cooperation could have led to a much better outcome for everyone involved. Perhaps calling APS is the thing to do. But I would start with communicating with your brother if that's possible. You certainly ought to look over any legal documents that were signed. A skilled Elder Law attorney can offer tremendous help in these kinds of crisis situations IF the family can work together. Just my $0.02 and certainly you may want to consult an experienced local Elder Law attorney to review ALL of the relevant facts here. You can use the "find a lawyer" tab here on Avvo as your starting point.
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I will leave the elder abuse issue to my colleagues who have already spoken on that point. From a real estate lawyer's perspective, I see the issue as less about elder abuse and more about undue influence. I believe you would have textbook basis to invalidate any deeds, wills, trusts, codicils or anything else that was executed by your mother 1) if she truly suffers from dementia 2) if she was not clear and lucid at or near the time she executed the documents and 3) she was goaded into signing by your brother.
I strongly suggest that you consult with a real estate and property lawyer about this. The police will likely be unable to help because this is not a criminal matter. Many of us offer free consultations that can help you flesh out the facts and legal issues. Good luck!
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