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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31022
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My 93 year old father has just been served a notice

Customer Question

Hello,
My 93 year old father has just been served a notice of separation from his wife of 20 years. No warning. He his mildly demented and I need to know what to do to protect his assets until I can find a lawyer locally
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'm licensed in Tennessee. I'll be glad to assist. Does your dad have any joint accounts with his wife?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Not sure! I just flew in from Virginia. I will need to find out
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok, i just found a check book and it has only his name on the check. Can it still be joint?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My father unfortunately is unable to tell me much
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Ok. Thanks. Anything that is jointly in both of their names is at risk -- such as bank accounts, savings accounts, etc. should be stopped. He can remove his money from the account and open a new one.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
If the checking account only has his name on it, that's a good indication that she doesn't have access, but the only way to find out for sure would be to contact the bank and ask if she's an authorized signature of the account or if she is a joint account holder.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Also, if she holds a power of attorney for him, he should cancel that asap.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
ok, thanks for that. Anything else? The papers state give the usual boilerplate about "dissipating or disposing of property"
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
How do I know if she has POA? He docent have a clue
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She has made herself unavailable as would be expected
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
She came in and moved out furniture when he was asleep without his permission. Isn't that a violation of the restraining order?
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
You could check and see if there's a POA filed at the local courthouse (usually with the land records clerk).
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
If your dad has a no contact order with her, then yes, her accessing his property and removing things could be a violation of the restraining order.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
The main thing is to get a lawyer there and file for an emergency order to stop her from accessing any of his accounts so she won't drain them before he has time to separate it out.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
If she did that he could try to recover his part of the assets, but it is usually better to act than it is to react.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
ok, i just found out it is a joint account. Can we close it out without her OK?
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
You probably can't close it with her name on there, but he can take his portion of the money out of the account and place int in a new account.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
what would be his portion? 50%?
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Possibly.......or whatever amount you can trace to having been paid over for him -- like his SS check or retirement pension, etc.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Technically, since it is a joint account, he could take it all, but he's better off to take what he can prove is his.
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Thanks for your question and please let me know if you need anything further. Also, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I may receive credit for assisting. Thanks again!
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Also, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I may receive credit for assisting. Thanks very much!
Expert:  Roger replied 6 months ago.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Also, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I may receive credit for assisting. Thanks very much!