Father was a retired Air Force Officer who had three children, one son and two daughters died in 2008 leaving estate amounting to $1 million in annuities and a $250K home to family. Of the three children only the oldest son and the youngest daughter were provided for in addition to the wife. The wife is 88 yrs old in assisted living quarters and has substituted youngest daughter as power of attorney. The daughter has lived off mothers widow's benefits for last twenty years providing elderly care and has been Baker Acted as a schizophrenic. Son is a veteran, college graduate and worked outside the home eventually retiring from AT&T but mother is changing will giving unfair consideration to sister. Do I have any recourse?
If mother was mentally competent to change her will and DPOA, there is nothing you can do. You may want to consult an estate attorney and provide additional facts to see if there is something that can be done.
Sorry about the passing of your father. As for the issue of inheritance, no one is "entitled" to inheritance and there are no guarantees. Yes, your mother can cut out you and the middle sister (no mention of her getting anything either) and your mother can provide for only the youngest daughter. Your mother may feel that the youngest daughter is least able to care for herself and that the veteran son and middle daughter will be fine without devising them assets. Your mother, as long as she is of sound mind, can change the will and can also favor one child over others.
Under Florida law, only the Principal (your mother) needs to be competent at the date of signing the POA. Your sister (the Agent) can therefore act on your mother's behalf in her banking, paying bills, applying for benefits, etc., under the POA. If you believe the Agent is self dealing or not looking out for the best interest of the Principal, then the POA can be challenged and you may wish to consult with an estate planning lawyer or elder law lawyer.
If your sister is abusing her authority under the power of attorney, and your mother is competent, she can revoke the power of attorney. If your mother is not competent, you can intervene to have your sister removed. As for the will, there is nothing you, or anybody, can do to challenge a will until the maker of it dies. Until then, your mother can change her will whenever she wants to - competent or not. Once she has passed, if you believe the final version of her will was obtained by undue influence or that your mother lacked capacity to make the will, then you can challenge the will.
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