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John
John, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed and practicing attorney.
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My elderly fathers longtime lady friend had access to his

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My elderly father's longtime lady friend had access to his papers (he was blind) and arranged to move the bulk of his savings (in a credit union CD worth 150,000 dollars) to a CD in her name. We have handwriting experts say the signature isnt his, and although a notary signed it, he was actually in the ER almost the whole day that he theoretically signed the paper. I have hired a lawyer, but although he agrees that it is likely a forgery and a fraud, he feels by the time it is litigated there will be no gain for me (or maybe not enough for him?). Are there lawyers who would help on contingency? And I am not certain whether it makes most sense to go against the girl friend or the credit union. (WHo can only say that there was "a guy on the phone" for confirmation, not who it was or what he said. Of course there is no tape in existence by the bank for this transfer , although they admitted they thought it was strange that a 90 year old man would transfer the majority of his assets to a non relative (I am his only child, have three grandkids he adored, and the will he wrote left things split fairly between the 3 kids and the girlfriend (which was my suggestion)! I know if he did what she said he did, he would have thought to at least take the lady out of the split for his 3 three grandkids of the remaining 50k.
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. I understand the issues of your matter completely, and, if I understand your question correctly, you want to know if a lawyer would take this on a contingency and whether you should go after this woman and the bank.

Most certainly you could find an attorney to take this case on contingency. What is really being alleged here is fraud and violation of fiduciary duty by the bank. In other words the claim against the woman would be that of misrepresenting your father's signature on the check and the claim against the bank would be that they failed to check the signature on the note against the one in their records. To me, and I suspect most attorneys, the contingency fee on $150,000 (about a 3rd) is nothing to sneeze at.

As I stated above,you would have a claim against the bank as well as the woman. You will first need to be appointed personal representative of your dad's estate (by the probate court) before you can technically bring this claim. I also suspect your attorney would want to do a temporary restraining order on the account, to ensure the money in that CD is not taken somewhere where you'll never have access to it again. So, time is of the essence here. If this is something you want to do, it is better to do it soon.

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