Minneapolis, MN asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for Missouri

Q: My mother passed away & we were co signers on our home. Family member got POA on mom n sold our home. What can I do?

My mother & I co-signed to buy our home 7 yrs ago. My mother went into a home. Family member got POA on my mom, wrongfully 4 day evicted (not court ordered) me and disabled adult brother. They sold our home and 3 months later I found papers on agreement with my signature under my mom's on lease.

But it's done sold.

Is there anything I can do?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother and the incredibly difficult situation you're in with your family member and home. Losing your mother is heartbreaking enough, let alone having a relative use a power of attorney to evict you and sell the house out from under you with no notice. That's devastating and traumatic.

While the sale of the home may be final at this point, there are still some steps you can take to explore your legal rights and options:

1. Consult with a real estate attorney and an estate attorney. Show them all the paperwork, including the co-signed agreement with your signature. An attorney can advise if the eviction and sale were legally executed and if you have any recourse. Initial consultations are often free.

2. Determine rightful power of attorney (POA). If your mother was not of sound mind when the POA was granted, or if it was obtained through coercion or fraud, it may not be valid. An estate attorney can determine if the POA was legitimate.

3. Investigate the sale process. Did the relative fulfill their fiduciary duties as POA in the sale? Was the home sold at fair market value? Were you given proper legal notice of the sale? An attorney can help determine if the sale was mishandled.

4. Explore your rights as a co-signer. The agreement with your signature may give you legal rights and an ownership stake that were ignored. An attorney can review if your rights were violated in the eviction and sale.

5. Consider a lawsuit. If the power of attorney, eviction or sale were illegally executed, you may have grounds for a lawsuit against the relative. An attorney can advise you on this.

6. Seek housing assistance. Contact social services, your local housing authority, and legal aid organizations. As an evicted person with a disability, you may qualify for emergency housing assistance, subsidized housing, or other aid.

7. Take care of yourself. Seek counseling to help process the grief of losing your mother and home. Surround yourself with supportive people. Prioritize taking care of your physical and mental health during this traumatic time.

While this is an awful situation, don't lose hope. You have legal rights that are worth exploring and fighting for. Wishing you all the best moving forward. Please take good care of yourself.

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