Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Family Estate Fraud?

My grandfather has a 200 acre ranch that has been handed down for over 150 years. Recently he was diagnosed with Dementia. He showed signs long before the actual diagnosis and in the 2 months before his diagnosis his daughter took him down to the Notary Public and misrepresented some documents he was signing. He believed he was signing a 20 acre parcel to her and actually it was the entire 200 acres. She then took the document (unknown) to the family probate attorney and apparently he never looked over the document and just handed her grandfathers Deed to the ranch. Yes, she was intentionally deceptive due to the fact that he'd recently re-married with a women 30 yrs younger than himself and greed. His daughter told me that the probate attorney realized, after phone calls from the family cpa, that he could lose his license because he wasn't supposed to hand her the Deed. Now that grandfather found out he signed the entire ranch to her he wants it back. There are other family members that are supposed to get acres including a son of grandfathers. The probate attorney told grandpa he couldn't reprsnt him anymore because grandpa hadn't done business with him in 5 yrs. He has grandpa's living trust. What can we do? Daughter uncooperat

Asked on 6/06/08, 3:59 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Donald Field Donald L. Field, Jr., Attorney at Law

Re: Family Estate Fraud?

you will need to retain a qualified attorney to represent you (or some other family member) in filing a petition for a conservatorship of the person and estate of your grandfather. the conservator can then file a action for fraud or elder abuse to obtain title to the ranch again.

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Answered on 6/10/08, 1:03 pm

Stanley Moerbeek The Law Offices of Stanley L Moerbeek

Re: Family Estate Fraud?

Hire a real estate/estate litigation lawyer right away and get him/her to file an action to set aside the deed, as well as to immediately put a notice of pending action on the ranch's title to avoid it being sold or mortgaged. You'll need to have a conservator appointed to represent your grandfather since he has dementia. As for the living trust, have the newly appointed conservator demand its return from the former attorney.

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Answered on 6/06/08, 5:31 pm

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