Q: My mother died. She left no will. I am only child. My daughter got her to sign POA. Now has taken all??
'Nana' recently died quite suddenly, and unexpectedly. I am her only child, and I have two children. From the time that we discovered she had brain tumors, to when she died, was only one week. She was very confused and disorientated. During this week, my daughter got her to sign a P.O.A., and then a day later, got her to sign quit claim deed. There is no way Nana was able to comprehend the papers that she was signing. I don't know what notary was a party to that charade? Moreover, now my daughter has assumed the whole of Nana's estate, and in fact, is/has moved herself into the home. My daughter told me in a text, that she has no intention of giving me anything.
I feel heartbroken, and robbed. Is there anything I can do??
Do I have any recourse?? My daughter already held a giant garage sale, and sold everything she could, that she didn't want. I wasn't a party to that either. A lifetime of memories, gone.
Somebody, please help me? Thank you.
A: My condolences for the loss of your mother. You most likely do have recourse, but you should seek the assistance of a trust and estates litigator as soon as possible. Even if the quitclaim was valid, which likely it was not, that deed would have applied only to the home and not the contents or anything else. As well, the power of attorney ended when your mother died.
Believe it or not, and sadly, notaries in California have no legal duty to make an assessment of a signer's mental capacity.
Sheri Lynn Hoffman agrees with this answer
A: I'm sorry you're going through that. You need to run, not walk, to a probate lawyer -- most likely located in the county where your mother lived, although most courts allow lawyers to appear in court via Zoom, so it may not matter. The bottom line is that your daughter likely engaged in "elder abuse" by taking advantage of your mother when she was ill. The probate attorney will need, among other things: (1) a list of your mother's relatives, their addresses and phone numbers, if you have them; and (2) a list of all your mother's assets. Do not wait until you have gathered that information before seeing a lawyer. You need to get moving before your daughter destroys anything else.
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