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"Undue Influence"

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How can I prove "undue influence"? My parents were very financially well off. They spent the last 25-30 years collecting two of everything because they wanted two of "everything" they had for each of their two daughters, me and my sister. They had two houses, two pieces of land, two massive coin collections (mint & proof sets from 1955 to 2003), two vehicles, two bank accounts, two safety deposit boxes, (over $250,000.00 in cash), two sets of Japanese pearls, two "matching" diamond wedding rings with two gold bands and literally two of everything they could collect. In approximately 2008, my sister took my Father to a "new" doctor that did not know him or his medical history. I believe she got him declared incompetent with the "new" doctor. She went farther and did not tell the doctor that he was on the blood thinner, Coumadin, so he was never put back on it , which I believe eventually caused his death in September 2009 when he had a massive stroke and passed away in January 2010. February was the last time my sister spoke to me. She took everything. From researching court records, In 2006, she added herself in place of my Mother as co-owner on all of my parents properties, bank accounts, etc. She had full "power of attorney" for Daddy. In approximately November 2008 she had him placed in an assisted living home. In September 2010, she turned 41, she has never been married, never lived on her own, she has never held a job for any length of time, never paid a bill and my parents "took care of her". When Daddy lived in "his" house with her, he did any and all of the housework, dishes, laundry that was done, she never took care of him, he took care of her. My Aunt and I both have heard her verbally threaten him on various occasions. All my life, my parents always told us that "if anything happened to them", the two of us, my sister and I, were to divide EVERYTHING between us and they told us that was what was written in their wills. After Daddy died, I have not been contacted by any attorney. I have not even seen any legal papers or a will and I have not heard from my sister since approximately February 27, 2010. I am ex-military, I served 12 honorable years in the U.S. Navy. I completed my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1997 and went to work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a Chemist in 1998. I do not need money or anything but I would like to see justice for the wrong that was done to my parents and for not abiding to their "last wishes". I have been told that there is nothing I can do but it never hurts to ask. There may be someone somewhere that knows different. I welcome any and all suggestions and comments.

Deeply Hurt,

Want2BAttorney

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We don't really need a laundry list of stuff the parents acquired, or your background.

"I believe she got him declared incompetent with the "new" doctor."

Not sure what you mean by "I believe".

It's also unclear how your sister became the one in charge of your father's medical care, or why he'd go along with that, or why your mother and no one else would bother to intervene.

If she supposedly had some doctor saying he was mentally/legally incompetent, that would be stupid, if the power of attorney was issued by him AFTER that point in time (vs. a durable power of attorney issued by him before he was declared incompetent). In any event, incompetent or not, no one with a power of attorney is supposed to self-deal, but to act on behalf of the maker and in his/her best interest.

You or the mother would have to discuss with a local estate-probate attorney how to address her wrongdoing within the relevant probate court. This doesn't appear to sound so much like "undue influence", but misuse of a POA. Your post is oddly devoid of what you and other family members did in response to all the stuff you mentioned. You don't even say if your mom's still alive, etc.

"After Daddy died, I have not been contacted by any attorney. I have not even seen any legal papers or a will and I have not heard from my sister since approximately February 27, 2010."

Any particular reason you've sat back and twiddled for over a year waiting for something you shouldn't wait for?

"I have been told that there is nothing I can do ...."

Cannot know whether you've sought competent counsel. Unfortunately, no stranger can accurately declare this from here simply based on what you've posted.

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We don't really need a laundry list of stuff the parents acquired, or your background.

I have no way to know what you need but I thought

it might be important to know that I AM NOT A GREEDY PERSON AND I thought you might need to know WHAT the estate included. I thought it might be important to know that it was NOT JUST A TOASTER!

"I believe she got him declared incompetent with the "new" doctor."

Not sure what you mean by "I believe".

I said "I believe BECAUSE I HAVE NO WAY TO

KNOW for sure what she did. They live

5-6 hours away from me and my sister excluded me from all information since my

Mother died in 2003 and even more when she found out how much money was involved. OBVIOUSLY, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HAPPENED EXCEPT SHE TOOK HIM TO A DOCTOR

THAT DID NOT KNOW HIM OR HIS HISTORY OF HEART DISEASE.

It's also unclear how your sister became the one in charge of your

father's medical care, or why he'd go along with that, or why your

mother and no one else would bother to intervene.

...[Message truncated]

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Guest FindLaw_Pierre

At this point it appears that you have attempted to contact local counsel about your issue.

Nevertheless, FindLaw has compiled a specific directory of experienced estate planning attorneys throughout the country that may be of assistance. Many offer free consultations.

Although probably not the answer you were looking for, if you think you may be interested in speaking with a fourth attorney, please provide your state and I will forward you a direct link to attorneys near you.

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What state did this death occur in? So sorry you are having to deal with such a difficult situation. You should first be checking at the county courthouse probate court to make sure whether or not ANYONE opened up probate for the decedent. If probate was opened you can look at the file to see how the estate was handled. But most likely there may not be any assets if she legally got control of them by the POA. Some states require POA's to provide an accounting statement with receipts to prove that she spent the money on the decedent's care. She probably would have a hard time coming up with such an accounting now if she selfishly kept most of the money for herself. If I were you I would be talking to a family law attorney and that attorney can advise you whether you have legal grounds to file a lawsuit against her for abuse of POA, and attorney may also be able to get the decedent's medical records to look at medications he was taking to see if it would have affected his mental capacity at the time he signed the POA or if medications may have been a complicating factor in his death.

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In my previous response I forgot to mention that filing a lawsuit alleging undue influence might be costly legally for both sides, which is why I suggested filing for abuse of POA instead. If you wanted information on filing an undue influence lawsuit, perhaps the family law attorney could help you with that but you might also want to consult with an attorney who has specific expertise with undue influence lawsuits. And you also need to ask if there is a statute of limitations time period that might apply in either case.

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Setting aside the emotional issues, you stated in your second posting that your mother

predeceased your father by six years. You also affirmed the absence of wills for either

parent. However, your partial inventory of assets indicates that your mother's estate,

that is, everything she owned at the date oaf her death, may have been substantial.

Possibly your mother's "estate" administrator/executor needed to file an inventory and

appraisal of her property with the County Clerk in the County where she passed away.

Depending on the fair market value of all the assets and how title was held, perhaps

the administrator was required to file a U.S. Estate Tax Return nine months after death.

Although it appears that both parents died intestate (no will), the administrator must

determine the heirs of the estate under intestate succession laws. You should consult

with an experienced probate/estate attorney to discuss what legal remedies are open

to you. Your dilemma illustrates the importance of having a will/trust and a letter of

instruction for your heirs. You might discuss this with the attorney that you retain.

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I must say I sincerely appreciate the people that spoke to me as though I have a brain in my head, unlike the ones that were rude, obnoxious and obviously do not like money. Yes, as a matter of fact I did contact the Probate court and nothing has been filed for my Father. Thank You, I will check with Probate concerning Mother's Estate. More than likely my Father did not file anything, including estate taxes or anything else. The state is TENNESSEE, the city is Chattanooga. My Father's doctor told me that it was his opinion that he was "NOT of sane mind in 2003" when my Mother passed away. (I hope I am making sense, it's difficult to "write what you think")

I have spoken with a friend from high school who happens to be an attorney and serves very often as magistrate in Chattanooga and is quite knowledgeable. She has advised me on several occasions, but as she said, "...as a friend, not as your attorney".

Proving what personal property that was in the house at the time of either of my parents' death is impossible and I know that. The only things I can actually prove is the "real property" that my parents paid taxes on each year. As far as money and coins there has to be a "footprint" from the U.S. Mint to my Father every year, deposits from Social Security, Combustion Engineering (where my Father worked and retired) and other information at the banks. The safety deposit boxes were placed in my sister's name, once, maybe, one of them in my name, I believe. Other than this information, everything would be hard to prove. Unfortunately, I lost my inheritance to a very greedy sister.

I do know that no matter what, anything I do will most likely be fairly costly for me. Right?

Thank You to all the NICE People! You make me still want to be an attorney!

Sincerely,

Want2BAttorney

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