What rights do four siblings have after other sister put our mother's farm in her own name before our mother died? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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What rights do four siblings have after other sister put our mother's farm in her own name before our mother died?

Our mother owned a farm, she was elderly but still lived there. Out of the five children she had, one of them wanted to buy the farm. She was also the power of attorney for our mom. Nothing was ever mentioned again and life went on. About a year and a half later we find out that she had gone ahead and had an attorney come and put the farm in her name, it was sold for $1. She never told us. We found out by accident a year and a half after the fact. We confronted her and she told us it was between her and our mother. Our mother said this is the price we agreed to, but she didn't know it had already been put in our sister's name. At that time she was 88 years old. We were a very close family up until that time, so we told our sister she had to fix this but an argument ensued. Our mother fell two months later and was then hospitalized and then to a nursing home where she then passed away two months after that. Supposedly our sister was to pay us each the agreed upon amount for the farm. It is coming up on one year in June and she has not reached out to us or paid us. There were also a large CD that was put in my sister's name as well prior to our mother's death. My mother had always said everything is to be split equally. She even wrote a note and we found it on the table near her bedside that she loved us all equally and everything was to be split equally, even the farm. So we need to know what rights we have to get the money from our sister or if we can even dispute the sale of the farm prior to her death when the will still says the farm is to be split equally. We also need to know what rights we have to the CD that our mother wrote was to be split equally, but my sister's name is listed as the beneficiary. We need to know if we have a case at all and if it's worth it to pursue it.


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Suggest you talk to an attorney who handles Federal/MD estate planning. Information will need to be assembled and carefully reviewed for a proper analysis. An experienced estate attorney in MD should be able to handle this type of matter and to protect the interests of the client.

Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/24/2014


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It sounds like you may have a case here against your sister for a portion of what she received from your mother. This actually happens often with elderly parents. They trust one sibling and put everything in their name trying avoid probate and other anticipated problems after their death. However, that sibling does not and may have never intended to share the assets with the other siblings as promised. Legally, it is as though your mother made a gift to her during her lifetime, however, you can contradict that by filing a suit against your sister in probate court if you have proof that your mother intended that all the sibling share in her estate or that your mother was tricked or deceived into transferring all her assets to your sister. I would recommend that you consult with a probate attorney to properly evaluate all the facts of your case and make a recommendation to you regarding your course of action.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/14/2014


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Unless your mother is competent to undo the transfer all you can do is sue for undue influence or elder abuse.

Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/6/2014

Answer By Edwin K. Niles

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Please see a probate lawyer ASAP.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/6/2014


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Unfortunately if mom din not have a will, there's nothing that can be done.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/6/2014

Answer By Jayne Sebby
Sebby Law Office
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Hire an attorney who can help you with this complex issue. There may have been legitimate reasons for your sister's actions. But if she isn't telling you why she put the farm land and CD in her name, you may need to file suit.

Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 5/6/2014

Answer By James T. Weiner
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
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Your sister seems to have played your mother and set up an estate plan that was not to her wishes. (e.g. all to her instead of split )contact a probate attorney immediately to see if something can be done.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 5/6/2014

Answer By Norman H. Green

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Of course you have an excellent case. Hire a lawyer to file a petition for probate and then an 850 petition to put all the assets into the estate.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/6/2014

Answer By Brian Haggerty
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
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Get a lawyer and sue her. Do not wait. Time lost is rights lost.

Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 5/6/2014

Answer By Donald Scher
Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.
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You need to retain an attorney at once and bring legal action against your sister for breach of fiduciary duty and elder abuse (financial exploitation). This is a very common scenario and your sister will not voluntarily do the right thing.

Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 5/6/2014

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