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Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33191
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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I live in California and my parents live in New York. I have

Customer Question

I live in California and my parents live in New York. I have a younger brother who has been a " deadbeat" all of our lives and is 47 and still living with his chinese wife who is also unemployed in the basement of my parent's home. i am the oldest son and the trustee of my parent's living trust. 60 days ago my mother died of a brain anyurism and in the days since my deadbeat brother has taken control of my dad's insurance annuities, all bank accounts and the deed to the free and clear i received a certified letter typed but signed by my father removing me as trustee from his trust with no explanation.
my father has been disabled for mental health issues requireing Lythium for 17 years and he is on other anti depressents...What can i do to determine if these changes are his decision or under duress from my brother and his wife?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply,but rest assured, I am working on your question..The only way to determine whether this is father's decision or one forced on him is to talk to him privately and see what his response is. If there has been no friction between the two of you, then this is likely a result of brother talking to father and claiming that he would be better suited to be trustee since he is literally as close as he could be since he lives with father. .Now this wouldn't necessarily be undue influence if father is still legally competent to make his own decisions. But if there is a question or you don't feel that he is competent, then you would have to file a formal guardianship petition in NY Surrogate court to be appointed as his legal guardian. It is likely that brother would object to any petition and file his own and claim that since he lives there, he is best suited to be the guardian..It does sound unusual that father has taken these actions once mother has passed to essentially cut you out of things and it has the distinct feeling of elder financial abuse and undue influence...How it would turn out, I can't say, but the judge would obviously be aware that brother is mooching off father and may be hesitant to put him in charge of his finances and care....thanksBarrister

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