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FamilyAttorney, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1472
Experience:  Owner, attorney in private practice, appellate attorney, GAL & former trial lawyer, licensed for 37 years
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My mother was in a nursing home and medicated with morphine

Customer Question

My mother was in a nursing home and medicated with morphine on a daily basis. A member of her deceased husbands family whom she had never met entered her room with a notary public. He told my mother she would receive a large sum of money if she signed some papers and would continue receiving money as long as she was alive. She had no idea what it was all about just that she was getting money. She had no idea her husband had left her property near the Canadian border which would produce oil. My sister and I immediately got guardianship of our mother. We bought the property for $1 and put it into a Trust. It wasn't until recently when our mother passed away that we found out that her deceased husbands family had somehow had the property in my mothers name and once she passed away it switched over to them because they had filed before us. Now my question is aren't there laws against what they did going into her room with her being on narcotics and in no mental state to be making any legal decisions??
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: This happened in Bismarck, North Dakota
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Corner Stone Resources has contacted our family and wants a copy of my mothers death certificate. I told them that they would get nothing from me until I get legal advice and explained what happened. They put a freeze on any assets that would have been distributed.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I just want to know if this is worth pursuing. I have heard about this happening to people but you never think it's something your going have to deal with. This was left to my mother and she never really understood what was going on and she never new her husband had left her this property. I think she should have had one of her children sit down with her and explain to her what was going on, not some stranger coming into her room promising her money.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 12 months ago.

Hello. I’m a family lawyer, former trial lawyer and appellate attorney with 36 years’ experience and also have extensive experience with landlord-tenant issues. I look forward to helping you today.

At the end of our discussion I’m going to ask you to rate me, okay? I’d appreciate it because this is the only way we get credit for our time here today. It is at no extra cost to you.

Please note:This is general information for educational purposes and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an attorney on this site. You are advised to retain your own attorney.

If I’m back not here right away, I’m typing my answer. Thanks!

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 12 months ago.

I'm so sorry this has happened to you and your sister. It's something I'm sure your mother would be very upset about and I'm sure this is heartbreaking. So now we need to discuss about pursuing legal action.

This was a fraudulent conveyance, absolutely. They didn't have the right to do what they did and they took advantage of your mother when she wasn't of sound mind due to heavy medication that would have clouded her judgment. Also, the nursing home might share some responsibility for this because they allowed these people to go into her room. I'm sure they have policies about who is allowed in and who isn't. If these people sneaked into the room, the nursing home would be at fault to some extent for letting them in there and for not having adequate security. The people who are most at fault are the ones from the deceased husband's family --obviously propelled by greed. It's disgraceful.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 12 months ago.

ND has laws which allow transactions like this to be declared void because of the fraud which was perpetrated on your mother. As guardians and as next of kin, you should be able to have what is called standing to sue, and you'd be suing for your own rights as well as the rights of your mother to be free of the fraud which was perpetrated on her. This is a civil case, generally, but it comes with fines and penalties if the judge agrees this was fraudulent. It was unconscionable that they took advantage of her like that.

My suggestion is that you have a consultation with an experienced estates and trusts lawyer who has done these types of cases before. Also, another possibility is to find a business lawyer. I can find lawyers in your area but I'd need a big city so I can find a sufficient amount of lawyers. We are not allowed to refer to any particular lawyer but this is what I do for my customers here -- I give them names of attorneys and then I have an easy, short, simple-to-understand guide as to how to pick a lawyer. You'll be asking for a free consultation anyway, and if you don't like the lawyer, you'll just walk out and owe nothing. It is definitely worth exploring. I don't know when this happened, but there is a statute of limitations on fraud, so I would suggest you speak to an attorney right away. Just let me know if you want me to find lawyers for you and what the biggest city near you is. I'm happy to help and I'm disgusted that there are people who would take advantage, in a nursing home no less! I'm really sorry this has happened but I hope you're able to succeed against this people.

Have I answered your question?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 12 months ago.

I am able to continue helping you even after you rate me because you can come back into this room at any time and ask me follow-up questions based on this one for no additional charge.

I want to help you with this and I am willing to find lawyers for you in your area once I know what area I need to look in.

I hope that you can at least get a consultation (free) with a lawyer who can let you know how much it would cost and how long it would take to try to void this conveyance to these people. It's fraud, plain and simple, but the lawyer may want to add the nursing home as a defendant in the case because of their wrongdoing as well.

Please let me know if you need any more information, such as where to find an attorney in your area, or anything else related to this question. Id' rather be rated positively and if I didn't answer all of your questions, I'd like to have a chance to make sure that I do. Thanks in advance for rating me. If you need more information, let me know as I’m happy to give it.

I hope this helps and clarifies. If you could, I'd appreciate it if you can rate me when finished. Kindly rate me positively so that I can get credit. It is no additional charge to you.

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We are not employees of Just Answer but are independent contractors, so your rating is very important to us so that we can be reimbursed for our work. Thank you!

You are also welcome to come back to this room free of charge to ask me a follow-up to this question at any time. Be well and thank you for letting me help you tonight.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 12 months ago.

Hi, just checking in to see if you still need help with your question and if my answer was helpful for you or if there is any more information that you need. Thanks!