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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12132
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I have questions about my moms estate. My sister lives with

Customer Question

I have questions about my moms estate. My sister lives with my elderly mom. In the last year it's become almost impossible to reach my mom- by phone or in person. I believe my sister controls her life almost completely, including her bank accounts and other financial matters. I recently asked my sister what was going on with mom. She told me she had "everything handled." I asked if mom had a will. She (my sister) refused to answer, indicating it was "none of my business."
I'd like to know what legal recourse I have in case my mom becomes incapacitated or dies. We are her only children and I am completely in the dark.
Can My sister keep withholding information and keep control of everything
And if my mom dies do I have any rights as far as inheritance?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I look forward to assisting you this evening. I am sorry to hear about what is going on with your mother.

If your mother is unable to speak for herself, certain documents, such as a Health Care Power of Attorney, or a legal guardianship, can give your sister authority to control who sees your mother. However, if such documents were not drafted and your mother is competent, she doesn't have standing to forbid you from seeing her or speaking to her. If your sister really won't communicate with you and wouldn't, for example, be willing to try to work out any issues with a neutral third party like a mediator, you could involve the court by petitioning for guardianship if you believe in good faith that your sister is being unreasonable in controlling visitation. She certainly should not be taking control of your mother's accounts and finances without guardianship or a Power of Attorney.

A Last Will and Testament is another matter. A beneficiary isn't entitled to a copy of it until it is filed with the court following a person's passing, after which it becomes public record. Before that, it is up to your mother to decide whether to provide you with a copy. If, when you receive the Will, you believe that it is a product of undue influence or fraud (e.g., she was forced to write something she didn't want to or was forced to sign something while not competent) you could bring a legal action in probate court to invalidate the will.

If the Will is found invalid or there is no will, then your mother's estate -that is, anything not passing directly to a named beneficiary or beneficiaries, like a life insurance policy - would be distributed according to state law.

If you need clarification or additional information, please REPLY and I'll be happy to assist you further, Otherwise, please kindly remember to leave a positive rating as that is the only way experts on this site are compensated, even if you left a deposit. Thank you.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 11 months ago.

If you have no further questions or need no additional information regarding this matter, please remember to leave me a positive rating (3-5 stars) as that is the only way experts on this site are compensated for their time and information, even though you may have already left a deposit. It costs you nothing extra. Thank you.