My brother convinced my mother to sell him the family farm, all the buildings,vehicles and equipment for an amount far below the fair market value. In '87 Daddy valued the farm at over $600,000 and my brother bought all of it, including house contents for $147,000. Neither Mom or my brother had legal representation. My brother simply had a real estate agent meet them at the courthouse to get papers signed.
Within 3 months Mom "refunded" $30,000 because the farm was "just dirt". He also convinced her to put $20,000 of the proceeds into CD's in case of an emergency, but the CD's were joint with him. He cashed in half of them.
Then when Mom went to put $20,000 in annuities for both me and my sister, he convinced her that the bank had made a $20,000 error and deposited his deposit in her account instead of his and she wrote him a check for $20,000. There was no such error according to the bank.
Additionally, the $40,000 in annuities for my sister and me was actually put into one of Mom's annuities. Initially, the monies that are in the annuities were in mutual funds in Daddy's Trust. After Daddy died, my brother convinced Mom to move the money to annuities with him as sole beneficiary. He also had her designate him as sole beneficiary of her life insurance policy.
Now while I was sick and in the hospital for two months, he convinced Mom to cash in the last CD, set up a new joint bank account with Mom and him (the existing one is in the name of the Trust). He got her to have her social security check and monthly annuity payment transferred to the new bank account. He won't give her checks on the new account and says that when the Trust account is depleted then she will get the checks. He has all the statements and checks sent to him post office box, not to Mom.
What in the world can my sister and I do to get Mom's affairs back on track? The only thing I've managed to do is get her to redesignate all three children as beneficiaries of the annuities.
Mom is 82, has had a stroke a year ago, and I'm currently living with her to care for her since she should not be left alone.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Your mother may need to establsih a new trust., or grant someone to act as her attorney in fact, to resolve these issues, as she seem sto be ealiy duped by your brother. That person, acting under the power of attorney can move her assets back to where they protect her intersts. There may be littel that can be doen about the money she gave to yrou brother, but the funds that represent her SS check may be recoverable. Get yrou Mom to an estate attorney in her area, as soon as you can. Let them go over the particulars of her situation and allow her to make her decisions.
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