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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102143
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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Im not sure what type of attorney I need. But here goes...my

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Im not sure what type of attorney I need. But here goes...my mom is a widow, and is 77. I have noticed that she is losing her memory. I have one other sibling. I am afraid that my sister is trying to hide or move the money that is in my mothers name into accounts that are in her and my mothers name. My mom has no will and is not interested in doing one. She tells us that everything she has to to be shared equally between me and my sister. That would be fine however, my sister is not easy to get along with. My sister does not have any Power of Attorney to move this money around. In 2005 my mother did create a revocable living trust that she did add to several bank accounts, the house and stock accounts. She mentioned to me that I am the executor of her estate. However, since then I have proof that my sister has taken out the money in those accounts and put them in an account that has her and my mothers name on it. When I ask my mom, she really has no idea what is going on, she has lost control of her accounts because of her memory loss. As her executor of her estate, I have no idea as to what is going on. What is the best way to protect my self from my sister taking everything? What can I do now to prevent this from getting worse? What kind of attorney, if any do I need? I live in New York. Thanks so much for your help!
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your family's situation.

At this point, what someone in your situation may wish to do is to file to be her adult guardian under New York's Article 81 law. Essentially, this would allow you to act in her name, much like a parent to a child. For a quick overview of guardianship see here, for an in-depth explanation see here, and for forms see here.

Adult guardianship is when an adult cannot take care of themselves (due to mental/physical illness, etc) and a caring party files to seek guardianship. If the Court approves, then the caring party becomes the GUARDIAN and may make decisions on behalf of them.

You may file in court for this - anyone can. You'd have to serve all interested parties (immediate family members) as well as him. The individuals can simply not answer, object, object and request themselves to be named guardian, or approve. The Court makes a final case by case decision. If your sister challenges this matter, you'd have to convince the Court that your mother needs guardianship and from what you've described, the Judge may agree.

This is for the overall matter. As for the revocable trust, once guardian, you may wish to revoke the trust, or, (while guardian or even before) file in Court to remove her as trustee and have yourself appointed as the trustee, so you can have control of the trust.

Finally, she can be made to pay back any money she wrongfully transferred without authority or maliciously.

What kind of attorney, if any do I need?

An attorney is highly recommended. You would need an ESTATE or a FAMILY LAW attorney. May I recommend the NY Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your informative reply. Im not sure if its the right time at the moment to pursue a guardianship, she has just begun to lose her memory.


How does the fact that I am the current executor to her estate help with this problem. When she passes away, how will it be know that I am her executor. She has no will.



Friend,

Thank you for your informative reply

You are most welcome.

Im not sure if its the right time at the moment to pursue a guardianship, she has just begun to lose her memory.

I think that this may be the perfect time, actually - better now than when the matter gets out of hand completely.

How does the fact that I am the current executor to her estate help with this problem. When she passes away, how will it be know that I am her executor. She has no will.

You are not the automatic executor. Without a will, the Court will appoint whoever is deemed best, XXXXX XXXXX because she had stated that she wants you to be the executor will not be so if you cannot provide a written document where she mandates this, signed, with witnesses.

As such, the sister may possibly get the executor power, which may be even worse. However, if you are the guardian, then you are more likely to receive executorship.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
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