wills and estates

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2008
wills and estates
10
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 11:39am

There's a couple, husband & wife, in their late 30s who have befriended my uncle, who is 92.   My family recently found out that this couple took my cousin's name off the will as executor and power of attorney and put their name.   If you ask them about it, they just say this is what he wanted.    I'm just wondering if there's a way to get the will put back into my cousin's name as executor and power of atty.  My family is just sick about this, because my uncle did very well with his business when he worked and is quite wealthy and we are listed in his will,  the nieces and nephews, possibly in a trust.  

Stefson

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Thu, 02-27-2014 - 2:54pm

True, they'd still have to go to court.  I questioned this because if his usual lawyer refused, I wonder why the new one did not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 02-26-2014 - 11:08am

I'm not sure how much help that will be.  Anyone can file a complaint with the bar and they have to investigate whether the lawyer has done something unethical but by then the uncle could be deceased and they would still have to go through the court proceeding anyway.  The only thing that a bar complaint can result in is getting the lawyer in trouble.  But it doesn't really help clients except in situations where the lawyer stole the client's money.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Wed, 02-26-2014 - 1:47am

Sabrtooth, your posts often jump to negative conclusions quite a lot on here; conclusions that are neither accurate nor helpful. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-14-2003
Wed, 02-26-2014 - 1:45am

Musiclover, do you think they might also inquire to the governing body of attorneys in their state as well regarding the new attorney changing the will?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2008
Wed, 02-19-2014 - 5:25pm
Yes, I think that's a good idea.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 02-19-2014 - 11:56am

I would call the Department of Elder Affairs in the town that your uncle lives in and explain the situation to them and see if they have any advice or if there is anything they can do.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2008
Tue, 02-18-2014 - 5:53pm

They are slick, this young couple.  They arranged for my uncle's marriage last year to his longtime roommate and no relatives were invited and no one knew about it.  His spouse died last week.  We went to the funeral and that was the first time I had seen this couple.  We were ballistic.  

They drove to the city to find a lawyer to change the will because my uncle's lawyer refused.  The lawyer drove to my uncle's house.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 02-17-2014 - 12:16pm

First of all, the young couple couldn't take someone else's name off your uncle's will--he would have to do that and normally people use an attorney.  As an attorney myself, I am very careful if someone seems out of it or doesn't know what they are doing that I probably wouldn't even do their will or make changes to their estate plan.  Sometimes older people will need a letter from their doctor to say that the person is mentally competent.  I would always meet with the person alone to see if they understand what they are doing and why they want to do it--any reasonable attorney would do this because 1) it's not like you get much money for doing a will and 2) if there is a will contest because people think the person was taken advantage of, it's a big mess that you want to avoid.

First of all, the executor's job is really to collect the assets and distribute them to the right people--they do have a right to get paid for that but it's not like changing the beneficiaries.  So if some cousin was supposed to get 50% of the estate and he's still getting 50% his share isn't being affected.  I just wonder if the cousin who was the former executor sees the old uncle a lot.  I had one elderly client who was a widower with no children. He had one relative of his wife who lived nearby and helped him a lot and he did leave his house to her.  But he (who was a white American guy) met this middle aged Chinese couple and left most of his large estate to them.  For some reason he used to go to the Chinese senior center and learned to speak Chinese and he just got friendly with them--he definitely was mentally aware and he just liked them and they did a lot for him--it wasn't like they were trying to take his money.  So maybe the young people are just friendly and doing a lot of things for the uncle.   Maybe he feels like the family is just waiting for him to die & collect their inheritances.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2011
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 11:51pm

It almost sounds like this couple is trying to take advantage. You need to get something done ASAP, because it is very hard to contest a will after the person is deceased. Sometimes even documentation that the person was suffering from senility won't work to contest the will. Ask the uncle if he intended for this couple to be executors of his estate. Ask him why.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 02-16-2014 - 11:56am

This kind of thing happens ALL the time.  And the sad fact is, if your uncle was surrounded by family who cared for and about him, who were with him on a frequent to daily basis, this would NOT have happened.  At this point, it will be up to a judge to decide if your uncle is dementia-addled and being victimized, or if he is simply rewarding the people who have cared more for him than his blood did.