It might be valid, but gosh, it sure does stink, doesn't it?
The question is whether there was "undue influence" and given the circumstances you describe, it seems to me that the burden of proof, proving that there was NO undue influence, would shift to the caregiver... You need to speak with an elder law attorney with experience in probate litigation asap!
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Mr. Carrier gave you a perfect answer. He's right: this does stink. But the documents will be presumed valid until you raise the issue of undue influence by the caregiver. Look for an attorney experienced with elder law issues, and probate litigation, to advise you.Ask a similar question
As the average age has increased, the opportunities for "deathbed" changes to estate plans has increased, and Courts are becoming much more aware of the problem. You will not be able to do anything to fix this without the help of an expert estate planning/probate attorney who is willing to do dispute and contest work (i.e. litigation and trial law). Most estate planning attorneys do little or no litigation because they don't like it, and as a result are not very good at it. You have received good answers from my colleagues, but in addition to "undue influence" it sounds as though the grantor who couldn't spell his or her own name "lacked capacity" as well. It sounds as though you may have a good case, but litigation can be very expensive unless you can find an attorney to take the case on a contingency fee basis, which is rare in Will Contest proceedings. If you have trouble finding an expert to help you, please feel free to contact my office directly and we will see if we can help you find someone in your area. If you are going to act, do not delay. Witness' memories fade quickly, and the lawyer needs to be able to speak with witnesses before they forget important details ... and before the caregiver hides or spends assets.
Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.Ask a similar question