In our family, my grandfather became ill with dementia.
One of the first things that happened, was a trusted family member took it upon themselves to have my grandfather sign a quit claim deed, while incapacitated, and deed over all of his property to said son-in-law.
When my mom found that out, we were dumbstruck and went to the other siblings (five other siblings) to let them know what had happened. All of the sudden the other siblings became quiet and no one wanted to talk.
My mom contacted an attorney, and the attorney decided that my mother needed to have my grandfather declared incapacitated by the court, and she needed to be appointed as Guardian. My grandfather DID NOT have a will.
My mom was unaware that many of the costs associated with having her father declared incapacitated because of the dementia would rest on her shoulders. She easily spent over $3,000 of her own money having her father go through evaluations and having him declared incapacitated due to the dementia.
He was finally declared incapacitated, and she was appointed Guardian. She had to pay legal fees that were associated with that appointment, as well as a yearly insurance bond because of being his Guardian.
The next step, her attorney advised her that she needed to file a lawsuit against her brother-in-law to try to retain my grandfather's property that the son-in-law had illegally quit-claim deeded to himself.
The problem was that my grandfather needed to apply for Medicaid, but with the illegal transfer of property, he was made ineligible for Medicaid. And without his property, he was unable to sell his property to pay for nursing home care in a place designed for people with dementia. My grandfather's health deteriorated, and the siblings all stuck together with the son-in-law who now had the property. We can only assume that they were promised a portion of the sale of the property.
Meanwhile, legal fees were racking up for depositions of all the siblings, further court-ordered examinations. My mother was left with over $10,000 in costs and fees. My grandfather passed away before the lawsuit was finished. This ended the lawsuit.
My mom's attorney urged her to go forward with a lawsuit against the brother-in-law to retain the property on behalf of the estate, however, my mom chose not to go forward anymore because she was already out thousands of dollars in out of pocket costs.
If my grandfather had a Will that we could have fallen back on clearly stating what he intended to do with the property, we never would have gone through all the legal fees, and a separation of the family. It's a situation that still haunts my mother to this day, nearly 5 years after her father has passed.
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