What are our options to save our family ranch?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are our options to save our family ranch?

Our mother inherited the family ranch after our father’s death. Currently her decision making hasn’t been in the best interest for the ranch as of late regardless of council given by my brother currently working for her and it appears to be putting the ranch in jeopardy. I was wondering if there was anything the children could to help save it since the mutual feeling is she is going to ruin it?

Asked on November 12, 2016 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It depends on whether she is actully mentally incompetent or not, or is "merely" making suboptimal decisions. If she can be shown to be not legally competent to make her own decisions, a court (e.g. family court) could declare her incompetent and appoint someone her legal guardian. Then the guardian, not her, would make decisions regarding the ranch. But she has to be not competent, which is a high bar; merely making not good decisions is generally not enough for this. If you want to explore this option, meet with an elder law attorneyt to dicuss your mother's situation in depth.

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