Stepmother Selling house
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Stepmother Selling house
My stepmother is going to sell a house that is in her name and my dad’s name. My dad is 92 and she is beginning to take advantage of him. She wants to sell the house to her son and refuses to sell to me his son. She’s also trying to have him declared as incompetent. My dad’s mind is fine and he can still live on his own is single. What can I do to stop this? My dad doesn’t know this stuff is going on.
Asked on January 8, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Michigan
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
If your father is mentally competent as you indicate, then all you can do is tell him what you know or believe is occuring: it is then up to him whether to believe you and, if so, to do anything about it (e.g. refuse to sell the house, which is his right; divorce; etc.). A competent individual has to defend his/her own rights and interests--certainly, you can help you and provide moral support, too, but at the end of the day, he has to decide what to do. If he elects to go along with her or not oppose her, that is his choice.
If he is incompetent, then you can legally intervene in the proceeding to declare him incompetent and appoint a guardian and attempt to convince the court that his wife is not acting in his best interests and that you should be appointed guardian instead. An elder law attorney can help you do this if you want. Be advised though that you face an uphll battle; courts normally appoint the spouse as guardian unless there is compellting evidence that are not fit or appropriate for the role.
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