Q: My aunt oversees my grandmother’s finances and property. We recently discovered a transfer of one of her properties, which has a value of over 1/2 million dollars, has been transferred into my aunt’s name for no price. She admitted to putting in her name but my grandmother hasn’t said anything. My grandmother has five other children and my aunt did this behind my family’s back. Even if my grandmother granted this, which I don’t think she did, she no longer has a sound mind and has a problem with her memory. My dad plans on talking to my grandma but at this point is there any way to resolve this? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: These family situations are difficult. It is always possible your grandmother wanted your aunt to have the property. If you want to examine the transfer, hire a lawyer to look at the deed and the entire situation to determine if there are any red flags surrounding the transfer. Is your aunt operating under a valid Power of Attorney? Is the deed legally sufficient? You never know what you may find out. If the deed was prepared by an attorney he or she would have or should have examined your grandmother for competency prior to signing the deed. If you have an opinion from her doctor which states that at the time she signed the deed she would have been incompetent you have a stronger case. If your case is based on speculation, gut instinct, and suspicion, you will have an uphill battle. If you find that there are legal grounds to challenge the deed, an attorney can file a petition to rescind the deed or a quiet title action in court.