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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31680
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My husband and I have been taking care of 94 yr old relative

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My husband and I have been taking care of 94 yr old relative for the last 25 years. He is mentally challenged but has lived on his own for his whole life. We have taken care of his well being and physical problems, and helped him acquire enough wealth through the death of a sister that he lived with until her death in the 90's. We took care of her estate and negotiated his property for a house and cash of $400,000. He moved into his new place in 2001. He has since broken 2 hips and we have taken care of him during that time. Our youngest son has lived with him during this time. On July 31, 1997 He made a will and named my husband POA if necessary. The relative is now home bound and we take him everywhere. At least we thought so until this week when my wife opened a bill (she pays all his bills) a bill was presented for $2500 for last will and testament, Living Will, and signing of a new estate plan. He is a bit batty and his Dr. has said he is crazy. Regardless he has a fisherman friend who has latched on to him and his cleaning lady is now taking him grocery shopping and today he gave his bills to my husband and when he got home he gave them to me. There was a bill for $2500 to a lawyer we never use. How should we approach this problem?
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Family Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

If your relative has been diagnosed with a mental condition or mental incapacity, then the new legal documents should not be legally valid because one must be mentally competent in order to execute legal documents. If your relative hasn't been diagnosed with a mental illness or mental problem, then you would have to determine whether or not his physician would testify of his compromised state. If so, you can file a petition to set the legal documents aside.

Also, because of your role in caring for him, and if he has a compromised mental state, you could seek to establish a conservatorship and guardianship for him. This would allow you to take over his care and watch over his financial assets to keep others from taking advantage of him.

I would highly recommend that you consult a local attorney about assisting you with gaining a conservatorship/guardianship over the family member and then take aim at having the recently executed legal documents set aside.
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