Q: How do I make sure when my elderly father passes away that my sister doesn't take all of his assets and keep them
A: As long as your father is not incapacitated, an attorney can assist him in preparing a Will or Revocable Living Trust to allow him to designated how his property would be distributed if he were to pass away. Advance Health Care Directive and Durable Power of Attorney documents are also important to make sure that your father designates someone who can assist him if he becomes unable to make his own medical or financial decisions. Your father should consult an attorney regarding his estate planning needs and options.
My colleague is correct. Solid documentation of your dad's wishes is key. Other than that, there is not a whole lot that you or he can do to prevent theft of estate assets, short of securing them under lock and key. There are remedies for theft, of course, after it has happened.
In the meantime, in addition to good estate planning practices, think about maybe making a photographic or video inventory of your dad's assets to document what he owns.
Julie King agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
A: Your father needs to have estate planning documents prepared so his desires are made known. He can name a family friend or someone such as a CPA, bank, or professional trustee to act as the trustee after he passes, so your sister and you don’t fight over who gets which assets. That outsider will be in charge. Your sister won’t be able to touch bank accounts without having the proper legal authority through your father’s estate planning documents. But she may try going to your father’s home and taking his personal items, furniture, artwork or other items. Perhaps you can take a video of all his things, so you can prove what he owned prior to passing, or set up a video/security camera by his front door, so you can see if things are taken out of the home. Best wishes.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.