Lindenhurst, NY asked in Elder Law, Real Estate Law and Family Law for New York

Q: How do you go about pursuing elder abuse without the elders agreeing?

My sister is taking financial advantage of my parents. My parents know enough to agree she is but do not want to pursue legal ramifications . My concern is they will not have enough money to live out their years. Most recently my dad was removed from the deed of his second home while in the icu giving my sister and brother in law full title to house but leaving my dad as sole borrower of mortgage. The signature is believed to be falsified and the notary is under investigation with NYS as claiming it was remote. He did not have mental capacity to engage in any financial transactions . My parents are afraid my sister will get in trouble so keep covering for her unscrupulous acts. Is there anything I can do to civilly get his name back on house or force the mortgage to be assumed or refinanced into their names relieving him of the debt? My sister lives in the house

2 Lawyer Answers
Peter Klose
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Nyack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Sounds like you should pursue guardianship litigation, or get a power of attorney from your parents and then sue.

If your parents are letting your sister do it, you may have no grounds though

A: It is unclear from the scenario you presented whether your parents are of sound mind. If so, you will not have standing to pursue actions that they are not interested in taking. You cannot force another person to litigate something in their interest that they do not want to. And you cannot force someone else or a lender to refinance a mortgage. If however, there is an issue with mental competency, you may seek to have a guardian appointed to represent their best interests.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

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