My mothers will was changed by my brother on March 16 2017

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My mothers will was changed by my brother on March 16 2017

When my mother was in her right mind she told us that we were all executors of the will. I have 2 sisters and 2 brothers our youngest brother was POA. He had the will changed that only he was executor and if anything happened to him his girlfriend was executrix. She passed on July 30,2017. I had talked to her at the beginning of July and she was afraid of my brother. Is there anything we can do so that they have to use the original will that her and my father had

Asked on August 28, 2017 under Estate Planning, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If she freely, while mentally competent, changed the will, there is nothing you can do: people are allowed to change their will, even if doing so is unfair and/or unwise.
If you believe that one of the following occured, however--
1) She was not mentally competent when the new will was made (and can show that by medical evidence, such as the testimony of her doctors); 
2) Your brother threatened her with something illegal (e.g. violence or an illegal eviction or not letting her travel/go where she wants)--and again, believe you have evidence or proof of that;
3) Your brother in some way tricked her into signing the new will--e.g. by showing her a different will, then having her sign this one ("bait and switch"), and have evidence; 
4) Your brother forged her signature, and can show that, such as with a handwriting expert;
5) Your brother was in a position of power over her--e.g.  she was disabled or housebound, and he was her caregiver and contact to the outside world--and used that position to "overpower" her own intentions and make her sign a will she would not have signed otherwise (this is called "undo influence")
--then you may be able to challenge and invalidate the will. If you can do that, then the prior will be the one that is enforced. Bear in mind that you'd have to file a lawsuit against her estate and your brother in court, and as indicated above, provide proof of whatever you are alleging in order to prove you case; this can be a difficult and expensive thing to do.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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