My sister turned my father’s energy of legal professional, took out a reverse mortgage on his home, and put in a safety digicam to watch guests

Dear Moneyist,

My father was always fair, but a bit of a pushover. He had a great career as a computer engineer, was retired, divorced my mother, lived alone in his house, and developed dementia 10 years ago.

My sister made himself his authority without consulting me or my brother. I only found out when I conducted a public file search on his property three years after being diagnosed with dementia. She also signed a reverse mortgage loan on his property. I was shocked. I talked to my dad and he said he didn’t.

My father’s lawyer said he would not do anything about my complaints if my father had not initiated it. My sister made it difficult to see or speak to him and watched him like a hawk. She installed a camera and walked down the street. When visitors like me went to his house, she showed up immediately.

“My father’s lawyer said he would not do anything about my complaints if my father hadn’t initiated them.”

My sister kept the secrecy. Her son moved into his home without rent and got a drug problem. He went to rehab, which must have been expensive since he had no job and no insurance. I hate to believe that he stole my father’s insulin syringes to use in his drug habit.

My father died two years ago. In the weeks before that, my mom told me it was “no good” and “in a nursing home,” but she didn’t know which one. I desperately called dozens in the area but couldn’t find out. It was agonizing and sad.

The money is:My older father was physically abusive and will leave his farm to my two sisters. Should I challenge his will?

My father’s lawyer said he is now representing my sister, not the estate. My mom said this lawyer – our cousin – also abused my dad’s 401 (k) and lost everything. The lawyer said it was lost in the stock market crash. The will states that my sister is the executor of his estate. But it was signed and written after he got sick. My father’s will left everything to each of my siblings, but it also meant that gifts didn’t have to be given out straight away.

My sister refused to tell us how the reverse mortgage money was being spent. My father had a good retirement income. Over $ 435,000 was spent on the reverse mortgage in the six years prior to his death. The lawyer said if my father had been in a nursing home during this time, he would have had nothing left.

“My father’s will left everything to each of my siblings, but it also meant that gifts didn’t have to be distributed straight away.”

The house was sold and the proceeds shared. I can’t help but have the feeling that my sister has not fulfilled her duty of loyalty as a power of attorney and has given it to herself because my father was so thrifty.

My sister had no job or income other than her boyfriend’s. But her boyfriend and son must have six cars by now. Your friend is from another country and works in construction. I’m afraid they sent money overseas when his sister was apparently visiting once. I know my sister thinks her boyfriend is entitled to top dollars for his work, and most likely charged my father’s estate for home repairs.

What should my brother and i do? The property isn’t closed yet, I think, but she’s not talking.

Troubled sister

The money is:My wife and I have 3 children. I also have 3 children from a previous marriage. How should we share our house among these 6 children?

Dear disturbed,

The time to act is now.

There is something fishy about your father’s attorney’s reluctance to take your concerns seriously. It’s time to hire another attorney, contact your father’s bank, and petition the probate court to replace them as a power of attorney. Your father’s bank accounts may be empty, but I’d freeze this and all other retirement and life insurance policies. You can go through the mail at your father’s house with your mother’s permission and write a list of all the banks and insurance companies he has done business with.

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It is becoming increasingly difficult to retrieve money stolen from an estate, or in this case, when an older parent’s house is being used as an ATM. If $ 435,000 was spent on your father’s home care, there should be a paper trail for it. You can also choose to report your father’s attorney to your state’s bar association if he doesn’t cooperate and / or continues to leave questions unanswered. As you say, a power of attorney has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the individual and to invest only with their permission.

Do not think about this situation. There is a statute of limitations on wills, and the clock usually starts ticking after the will is filed in the probate court. You may find that you are returning some kind of justice and fairness to this process and holding your sister accountable instead of recovering the money withdrawn from your father’s estate, provided that it was done in a shameful manner. Your father cannot legally act on his own behalf when he has dementia. His lawyer knows that. His sister knows that. Like any court in the country.

The money is: I did not receive a $ 1,200 stimulus check during the initial surge in COVID-19. Will I get a $ 600 check this time?

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Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch’s Moneyist columnist. You can email The Moneyist at q[email protected] with any financial or ethical questions. By emailing your questions, you consent to them being published anonymously on MarketWatch.

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