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Dad was married with two adult sons. After taking ill he remained at Veterans Administration Hospital for several years. During that time, Son #1 lived in parents’ house with his mother. After Mother died, Son #1 assumed sole use and possession of the house. He also took Dad’s monthly social security and retirement checks for his personal use and benefit. Son #1 then started assuming Dad’s identity for financial purposes. He even obtained a power of attorney, which was purportedly signed by Dad. Son #1 used it to create Dad’s Trust.
The Trust gave all of Dad’s assets to Son #1. Son #2 was homeless when Dad died. After the funeral he asked his brother about dividing the estate. That’s when he learned that according to the trust he was disinherited. Son #2 came to our firm for help. He told us that his father couldn’t possibly have signed the new trust because he was too sick.
We accepted the case and immediately started investigating Son #1. We found proof that he was stealing assets from his parents. We issued subpoenas, gathered creditable evidence and prepared our case for trial. We wanted the court to award our client with all remaining assets ($500,000) because Son #1 had stolen so much from his parents during the preceding 10 years. Before we could get an award, however, Son #1 settled with our client for $40,000. Son #2 earned nearly $460,000 while his brother, Son #1 received $40,000. We still don’t know who signed Dad’s name to the trust, but in the end, it didn’t really matter. We used a combination of legal strategies to keep Son #1 off balance during the entire pre-trial stage of the case.