This is my concern. While they were married, they took care of a women for many years. The woman left them a huge amount of money and a home, well my father had a mild cause of demetia and was not aware of what is wife did, she took the money and the home and put it in her name and her son. How could she do that. Now that my father has passed she is also asking for money that my Dad had overseas. I think he had the money before they were married. They also recently sold a home for about 80,000 and I not sure were she put that money. My father dementia got worse before he died and he told my brother and I if anything happens to me get a lawyer. I dont really want to take this to court, but there is alot of money involed. I think she took advantage of my father when he couldnt make decisions
It sounds like, from your description, that this was a second marriage and no pre-marital agreement was in place. You did not specify how the women left them "a huge amount of money and a home?" If it was through her Will, then the home should have been titled into their joint names. The funds could have been deposited into a joint bank account or either one's personal account. Assuming the home was retitled into both of their names, she would have required a deed from husband to retitle it into joint names with her son. If you father suffered from dementia, you would have to go back in time and try and challenge the transaction and have that deed revoked (very difficult to do).
If the overseas accounts were in joint names, with her, she has an entitlement to the funds. If not, she will need to go through probate to gain access to the accounts.
How was the $80,000 house titled? If in joint names, she became the sole owner upon his death. That would give her the legal right to the funds and she could do anything she wanted with the funds.
Based solely on the facts presented, you would engage a lawyer to challenge all of these transactions based upon your father's lack of capacity or undue influence. Other factors may impact what type of case you choose to bring. However, before you do anything, I would recommend getting a copy of the documentation relating to each transaction to get a better understanding of the background facts.
This answer has been prepared for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.
The question will arise whether your father transferred the assets into some type of survivorship format, or whether his wife transferred the assets through a power of attorney. If your father did it, it would require a challenge based on his lack of capacity or her undue influence. If she did it under a POA, it may be easier to challenge if she breached her fiduciary duty under the document. On the other hand, if these assets were long-term maintained in survivorship format, there may be no basis to challenge. As suggested, gather as much information as possble. Then consider consulting with a litigation attorney that specializes in estate matters.
You should speak to a probate attorney. You may have a real case against her. Our office offers a free consultation.
Statements made are for informational purposes and are merely a legal opinion.
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