MY grandmother had dementia for the last 2 years.my mother, her daughter died 15 years ago. the will states that my 2 uncles inherit her estate and my name and my sister and my brothers names are specifically are named as receving only a $1apiece. my grandmother had no ill feelings towards us actually it was the opposite.my question is how can I find out what and when if the will was changed and if so when she had mental incapacity can it be contested? also my uncle keeps hounding and pushing me to sign a quick deed to sale her house with my name only it and rr the person buying.what should last down? help!
2 Answers from Attorneys
There's no such thing as a quick deed, and you need to stop talking to your uncle and show things to a lawyer.
As noted by Attorney Ashman, there is no such thing as a "quick" deed. This is a mispronunciation of the proper term. "quitclaim" deed. A quitclaim deed conveys real property from someone who owns it now to someone else. No title search is made - no warranties are made. Basically it just says from the owner to the grantee "whatever interest I hold in the land conveyed is now yours." Typically, these are used by divorcing spouses or heirs/beneficiaries of land.
The fact that your uncle is "hounding" you gives me pause. You should absolutely refuse to sign anything until this has been reviewed by a lawyer as you may be conveying valuable property rights away in exchange for little or no value. I suggest talking to a real estate attorney or a probate attorney in the count where the land is located. Why would your uncle be pushing you to sign such a deed unless you had some kind of ownership interest in the property? You are alleging that you were disinherited by your grandmother. So how would you have an interest in her home? This makes me even more suspicious. I would have the attorney also review the existing deed to the property to see how it is titled as well as any will or other relevant documents.
Regarding you inheritance issue, that definitely calls for a probate attorney. Wills are not filed (usually, although some counties may allow the filing of a will for safekeeping) in advance of death. You do not provide a lot of information. When did your grandmother die? Where is her estate probated? When was this will made which leaves all to your uncles and basically disinherits you and your siblings?
The will should have a date on which it was executed. If it was made in the last 2 years while your grandmother had dementia, it is suspect and could be challenged. If it was made 20 years ago then perhaps not. However, only a probate litigation attorney could advise you after reviewing the will. It would certainly be in your interest and that of your siblings to look into a possible will caveat in light of the fact that you and your siblings get nothing (leaving someone one dollar is tantamount to a disinheritance and I strongly disfavor this in drafting wills for my clients) and your uncles get it all. If a challenge can be brought (called a caveat), then there are time limits for doing that so you need to do it now.
Generally the grounds for challenging a will are fraud, lack of testamentary capacity/mental incapacity or undue influence.