What to do if changes to my elderly mother’s Will negatively affects me and gives control to her attorney?

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What to do if changes to my elderly mother’s Will negatively affects me and gives control to her attorney?

My mother is 91 years old and was recently approached by her attorney to review her Will after my father passed 3 years ago. I recently discovered the attorney has named himself as the executor and the trustee. How does that affect me since I am the only child of my parents?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Well, it depends.  It certainly does not sound like a rosy situation and let me tell you that at least here in New York, the courts do not like it when an attorney has drawn up the Will and is then appointed as trustee and executor.  They get fees for that too so is this a large estate?  I might take a copy of the documents and Mom to another attorney that you trust - perhaps a friend - to discuss them with her in detail. Was she of "sound mind" when she executed the documents?  Is it possible that she was "unduly influenced" to your "detriment"? That matters here.  Look in to it.  You were very right to have a red flag go up.  Good luck.


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