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My mom married 30 years ago and sold her house to move into…

Customer Question
My mom married 30...

My mom married 30 years ago and sold her house to move into her new husbands house. Her name was never put on that house. A few months before he passed away he was on several medication and his children had him change is will . The change gave my mom a life estate, but not half of the house. Is there anything that can be done? We want to move her to a town home, but can't sell the house to get half the money. Also at this time he and is kids took my mom off of their joint bank account and took all of that money as well. They also changed his life insurance to their name. Is their anything? Please help me

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Minnesota

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

What do you mean

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 8 hours by:
12/13/2017
Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 2 months ago
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11,911
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

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Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 2 months ago

I am terribly sorry to hear this;

can you tell me- are you asking on what type of cause of action one may have in such situations?

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Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 2 months ago

Thank you;

essentially when a person takes advantage, to their benefit, of a person's diminished mental capacity due to senility, age, etc, the proper cause of action is "undue influence". Undue influence is when a person in a position of trust uses that position to manipulate a vulnerable adult to their benefit. The court will look to see if the gift or bequest was a natural gift or bequest- so for example, was the main recipient closer to the parent throughout their life, and if so did the senior express ongoing intent/commitment to leave that recipient additional/disproportionate funds because of that close relationship? Was other natural relatives estranged which would explain a disrepancy?
The court will look to the totality of the circumstances because while a person can of course leave their estate in unequal shares to their adult children, or gift property in unequal distributions during life, the court will, upon a challenge, look to see if that appeared to be a natural byproduct of their particular relationships, or if there was undue influence or issues of mental incapacity.
If this can be proven-this can be proven by circumstancial evidence (for gifts/tranfers: was there a bargain for exchanged; was the person of sound mind; was their a last minute effort to befriend the individual; for estates: ie prior wills compared to current will, date of each will, etc), medical provider's testimony as to mental capacity, statements as to the parties' relationships by family, and friends.

If so the court may undo (void) any transactions and can also remove a person from a fiduciary position (ie power of attorney) if there is concern as to their integrity.

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Estate Lawyer: LegalGems, Attorney replied 2 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

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