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Author: plattre Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 5741  
Subject: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/8/2001 8:43 PM
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My sister and I are wrestling with this problem.

In my uncle's 1992 will, he parceled out his assets to myself and four nieces. Each one of us would get 1/5.

In 1998, his sister (my aunt) brought him, while he was suffering the effects of Parkinison induced dementia, to his long time attorney and had the will changed. Now three of the nieces (her kids) would get 1/3. My sister and I would get $1000. The estate at that time was worth at least $400,000.

My uncle died a few months ago. Now everything is coming to light. I've got the feeling that my sister and I are up the creek without the ol' paddle.

Any ideas out there? I know we should see an attorney, but what course of action could he take??

I'm really pessimistic on this whole thing. Need some specifics.
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Author: rjm1 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3125 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/8/2001 9:34 PM
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Any ideas out there? I know we should see an attorney, but what course of action could he take??

You have to prove that your uncle was not compenent when he made the second will. Ask his doctor if he was. Any other experts that can say he was not compenent? If you find a witness then get an attorney and file a notice with the probate court.

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Author: uglierthenme Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3126 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/10/2001 11:31 AM
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Don't know the law. Now having said that let me tell you this. Recently we checked into contesting a will the following is the information we received from an attornery. Speaking in very general terms there on two grounds to contest a will. One is undue influnce. Was this person effected by others to the point that they took or failed to take actions that he/she would normally would have under there own free will. The other one is to call into question the deceased's competance. On both points one would need expert testimony as to their competance/judgement; such as a doctor or health care professional. In both cases your experts would most likely be challenged. Depending on the time,expense, and degree to which are willing to alienate yourself from some of your family I would suggest the following. Ask a attornery about a out of court settlement in lieu of any court action. If your aunt sees an inpending lawsuit as a threat, she may be agreeable to make a compromise. If not you can then decide with legal counsel if you want to pursue this course. One point for anyone to consider when considering a challenge to a will is ; What if you succeed ? What then ? Will a previous will then be considered valid or will the state then decide on the division ? You will be able to obtain legal advise on this but in many ways YOU will have to decide how much of your life you want to devote to this. I wish you well.

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Author: gurdison Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3127 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/10/2001 1:32 PM
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<In 1998, his sister (my aunt) brought him, while he was suffering the effects of Parkinison induced dementia, to his long time attorney and had the will changed. Now three of the nieces (her kids) would get 1/3. My sister and I would get $1000. The estate at that time was worth at least $400,000.>


Aren't families wonderful?


To pursue this, you will have to be willing to invest a chunk of your time and money. You would have to have people who provided medical care testify about his medical and mental condition at the time. If you do not know that information yourself, I doubt that it would be provided to you voluntarily.

I think you clearly need to establish a willingness to make this a legal issue. There is probably a strong correlation between how firmly you will stand on the issue and the other sides willingness to compromise. A protracted legal case will cost both sides money. I think the fact that the will was changed to benefit her kids at the expense of you and your sister looks highly suspect, especially since it was done without your knowledge. Still you would have to back that up with facts. Also, if the will is invalidated, was your uncle of sound enough mind in 1992 when he made the previous will?

At this point, I would not worry about any family fractures. Someone who would deliberately take advantage of someone's dementia and screw over other family members is not worthy of being called family. I like to call issues like this "mirror issues". That is if you take the action would you be able to look yourself in the mirror afterwards?


BRG


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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3128 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/10/2001 3:19 PM
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plattre: "My sister and I are wrestling with this problem.

In my uncle's 1992 will, he parceled out his assets to myself and four nieces. Each one of us would get 1/5.

In 1998, his sister (my aunt) brought him, while he was suffering the effects of Parkinison induced dementia, to his long time attorney and had the will changed. Now three of the nieces (her kids) would get 1/3. My sister and I would get $1000. The estate at that time was worth at least $400,000.

My uncle died a few months ago. Now everything is coming to light. I've got the feeling that my sister and I are up the creek without the ol' paddle.

Any ideas out there? I know we should see an attorney, but what course of action could he take??

I'm really pessimistic on this whole thing. Need some specifics."


First, my condolences on the loss of our uncle.

Second, sound suggestions from all the other posters.

Now I would like to note the suggestions of taking advantage are all coming from one side and are based upon knowledge of the contents of the 1992 will. Curious as to how this is so well known because many people do not publicly acknowledge their intended distribution.

In addition, if one had no knowledge of the 1992 will, would this distribution be perceived as that far off. Is it posssible that your aunt (the deceased's sister) and her children (his nieces) assisted with his daily living and care for 8+ years while you and your sister, for whatever reason (including simply a distant residence) spoke to him infrequently and saw him even less? Or is it possible that you are in line for assets eventually from your parents that his other nieces are unlikely to inherit any other significant assets?

IOW, we have heard only side of the story and there could be perfectly logical reasons (or less than logical reasons but not rising to the level of undue influence or mental incompetence) that wholy explain the situation. In addition, does the current will have a provision WRT to challenges?

Regards, JAFO


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Author: Trini209 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3129 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/11/2001 6:35 AM
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I'd like to add to this thread (although it won't help in the case in question), that one of the major advantages of a living trust is that it is much more difficult to contest than a will. If you can forsee that certain relatives will be unhappy at their exclusion from inheriting your assets, a trust is the way to go. A will is public information, and anyone who wants to see its terms can do so after it is probated - there is no public access to a trust.

After the death of a relative of mine (I had cared for the relative for years and was trustee of her trust) another relative asked me what she was inheriting. I said nothing. She said she wanted to see the will. I said there was no will. She said how could that be. I pointed out what county the deceased had lived in, explained that if there was a will, she had access to it through the probate court in that county, and told her that she would learn that no will had been probated. End of story. I have no idea if she pursued the matter - if she did, she learned that I had told nothing but the truth.

Trini

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Author: plattre Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3130 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/11/2001 6:15 PM
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Thanks for the responses.

Most seem to be on target, except for the hypotheses of JAFO31 that are off the wall guesses, which can easily happen when you are only given a paragraph or two summary of a problem.

But, what is more outlandish is the fact that his/her ideas have garnered two recommendations!

Since I first posted our problem, a selected attorney has written to the estate lawyer, who had nothing to do with writing the '92 or '98 wills, and informed him that we would like authorizations be signed by our Aunt allowing us to make inquiries.

They have ten days from date of letter to respond, so we'll see how this opening salvo goes.




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Author: intercst Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3131 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/11/2001 6:33 PM
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plattre scolds,

Most seem to be on target, except for the hypotheses of JAFO31 that are off the wall guesses, which can easily happen when you are only given a paragraph or two summary of a problem.

But, what is more outlandish is the fact that his/her ideas have garnered two recommendations!


JAFO31 had three recommedations the last time I looked. <grin>

I thought JAFO31's "hypothesis and off the wall guesses" were insightful and right on point. It may not be true in your case, but often folks run off half-cocked to challenge a will only to suffer the cost and embarrassment of finding that they don't have a case.

intercst



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Author: plattre Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3132 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/11/2001 7:05 PM
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plattre scolds again!

We may or may not have a case. We may be drubbed and be Supreme Fools.

But, I was inferring that the ideas he/she were expounding, and then getting praise for (I see he/she is up to three now too. Maybe I'll make it four.), do not exist in our case.

Because one posts frequently does not mean they know what the hell they are talking about. Just means that they have time on their hands.

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Author: rjm1 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3133 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/11/2001 7:09 PM
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plattre scolds again!

We may or may not have a case. We may be drubbed and be Supreme Fools.

But, I was inferring that the ideas he/she were expounding, and then getting praise for (I see he/she is up to three now too.
Maybe I'll make it four.), do not exist in our case.

Because one posts frequently does not mean they know what the hell they are talking about. Just means that they have time on
their hands.


I think a lot of the regulars know the posters and those that regulary make good points.

The problem with any post is we have to make assumptions in the answer and sometimes the other posts point up an area that has not been considered. Remember the answer may also be used by the luckers.

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Author: donbellphd Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3134 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/11/2001 9:36 PM
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Am I gettng a sense of why you may have been written out of her will? Were you more charitable towards your aunt?

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Author: JAFO31 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3135 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/12/2001 4:44 PM
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Feeling a littel sensitive are we?

[JAFO]

<<<<<First, my condolences on the loss of our uncle.

Second, sound suggestions from all the other posters.

Now I would like to note the suggestions of taking advantage are all coming from one side and are based upon knowledge of the contents of the 1992 will. Curious as to how this is so well known because many people do not publicly acknowledge their intended distribution.

In addition, if one had no knowledge of the 1992 will, would this distribution be perceived as that far off. Is it posssible that your aunt (the deceased's sister) and her children (his nieces) assisted with his daily living and care for 8+ years while you and your sister, for whatever reason (including simply a distant residence) spoke to him infrequently and saw him even less? Or is it possible that you are in line for assets eventually from your parents that his other nieces are unlikely to inherit any other significant assets?

IOW, we have heard only side of the story and there could be perfectly logical reasons (or less than logical reasons but not rising to the level of undue influence or mental incompetence) that wholy explain the situation. In addition, does the current will have a provision WRT to challenges?>>>>

plattre: Number 3130

"Thanks for the responses.

Most seem to be on target, except for the hypotheses of JAFO31 that are off the wall guesses, which can easily happen when you are only given a paragraph or two summary of a problem.

But, what is more outlandish is the fact that his/her ideas have garnered two recommendations!"


My condolences and approvals of the earlier posts are off the wall hypotheses? Wondering how you knew the contents of the 1992 will is a question, not a hypothesis. Noting that we have heard only one side of the story is a fact, not a hypothesis.

"Since I first posted our problem, a selected attorney has written to the estate lawyer, who had nothing to do with writing the '92 or '98 wills, and informed him that we would like authorizations be signed by our Aunt allowing us to make inquiries."

Glad you hired an attorney. Not entirely sure why you need any authorizations from your aunt, unless possibly she is the executor and is authorizing the attorney who wrote the wills to speak to you and to disclsoe client confidences, even though you are not that attorney's client.

"They have ten days from date of letter to respond, so we'll see how this opening salvo goes."

Good luck with both the battle and the war.


plattre: "plattre scolds again!

We may or may not have a case. We may be drubbed and be Supreme Fools.

But, I was inferring that the ideas he/she were expounding, and then getting praise for (I see he/she is up to three now too. Maybe I'll make it four.), do not exist in our case."


Yeah, the idea that there might actually be two sides to the story is just off the wall and desrving of condemnation instead of praise.

"Because one posts frequently does not mean they know what the hell they are talking about."

Agreed. But it also does not mean that one knows nothing about which they post.

Regards, JAFO

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Author: plattre Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 3136 of 5741
Subject: Re: Aunt changed the will, now what? . Date: 7/16/2001 8:56 PM
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Am I gettng a sense of why you may have been written out of her will? Were you more charitable towards your aunt?


This is what I was indicating earlier, people can post opinions based on inaccuracies (where's a reference to my Aunt's will?) and receive praise. True folly.

Paul, in Chicago.

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