Shouldn’t the equity go to my mother’s estate?

Q: Unbeknownst to me and my two siblings, my sister and brother-in-law who live in White Oak drove to Florida where my mom lived and moved in with her. Apparently, they drove her to another county and had her sign an “Enhanced Life Estate Deed.” The deed says they bought the house for $10. As it stands now, the equity in the house from November 10, 2011, when she signed the deed, until her death, February 2, 2017, is going to my sister. In 2009, my mom became physically and mentally weaker from “mini stroke episodes” that forced her to become more reliant on my sister. For example, my mom put her house on the market because she couldn’t keep up with the house expenses. The realtor told me whenever he had a good offer, my mom would say ” I have to talk to my daughter” and never took any of the offers. Soon after that, my brother in law and sister took over the mortgage payments and as soon as that happened my sister’s strong arm tactics were to tell me and siblings this was none of our business, and then she took over everything including my mom’s finances. She decided who visited my mom at the nursing home and who got info from the hospital about her condition. They stole the house, while my mother lived in a state nursing home.

A: There are many issues here and more information is needed to properly advise you. You need to consult with an experienced estate lawyer in the state and county where this house is located. Florida, I assume? It may be extremely helpful to support the allegation that your mother was incompetent at the time she signed the deed if you have a medical opinion. You may want to talk to her doctor or doctor’s office to see if they would support you. The main issues would be possible elder abuse, her incapacity to execute a deed and fraud.

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