What can I do if my mom is too sick to sign her will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if my mom is too sick to sign her will?

My mom is giving me her house and I
will be buying out my sisters. She and
my sister that is supposed to be
POAhave been to her lawyer several
times but haven’t signed anything. My
mom is in the last stage of an
aggressive cancer and is really out of
it. The problem is I have already given
my thirty day notice to move to my
landlord and now I may not have a
place to go Is there anything that can
be done being that the lawyer knows
this is what her plans were? She hasn’t
even signed to make my sister POA
yet Any help would be greatly

Asked on April 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If she is not mentally competent at present to sign her will, she can't make one: there is no way for a person to make a execute (sign) a will *unless* mentally competent when she does so. Therefore, based on what you write, there will be no will and the assets will pass by "intestate succession" (the rules for who gets what when there is no will). In your state, if there is no surviving spouse, that means the children will get everything--eventually, after everything has gone through the courts.
Similarly, if she is not mentally competent, she cannot grant your sister a power of attorney.
2) Even if there had been a will, and even under intestate succession, which is favorable to the children, probating an estate takes time--months at least. There was never any chance that you'd be able to move right into your mother's house *unless* she--while still mentally competent--either gave or sold it to you while still alive, or at the least had let you rent from her or let you move in and start living there while she was still alive *and* competent.
What trips you up is that your mother is "really out of it": in that case, she can't make any legal arrangements or change the current status quo in any way.
d on what you write, you and your sisters will eventually get the house (assuming that there is no mortgage or, if there is one, it is paid off by the estate or the beneficiaries shortly after your mother passes), but not in 30 days, and it would never have been in 30 days even if there had been a will, unless you were already living there pursuant to the permission of or an agreement with your mother. You will need to look for other living arrangements.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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