My mother’s father abandoned them after she was born. About 5 years ago, he showed back up in her life and she has since grown to have a relationship with him. With that being said, I do not believe he was ever listed on her birth certificate and she was given her mother’s last name when she was born. Now, he has suffered a brain injury and is incapacitated and unable to make decisions for himself. He does have other children, that up until recently, were letting my mother have an input in any decisions being made. They have now changed thier minds and are trying to exclude my mother. They are excluding her now because the other children are after his assets. House, car, etc. Let it be known that one son lives in Texas and the other lives here. My grandmother and my mom’s father have been living together the past few years and his other son lives in his old house. Does my mother have any legal say so? Or could she doe anything to get one?
ATTORNEY ANSWER BY MARGARET L. CROSS BELIVEAU:
The only people who have rights to make decisions for an incapacitated person are either (1) the health care agent and power of attorney should those documents have been executed or the (2) guardian and conservator who have been appointment by the Probate Court.
Even if your mother proved paternity, sounds like the siblings would object to her serving as conservator/guardian. Plus, your mother would object to the others serving. In order for your mother to object, she would have to establish paternity. If the parties can’t agree, the court can appoint a disinterested person to serve in those fiduciary roles.
Your mother should seek out an estate attorney immediately. Her father could have taken actions which acknowledged the paternity.
Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire
The probate litigation attorneys attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provides legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.