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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Florida
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    2

    Default Can You Challenge a Self-Serving Transaction by the Holder of Power of Attorney

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Florida

    Hello everyone! I'm in need of some advice but it seems messy. Ok, my grandfather passed away back in 2008. He had married this woman after my biological grandmother passed away from cancer. He never left a will before he passed under questionable circumstances involving the woman he married. He had always told me when we visited that he wanted me to have 10 acres that he had and that the house they lived in with 8 acres as well when his wife was no longer living there or had passed. My grandpa only had one child, my father.

    Shortly before my grandpa passed away, his wife sold the 10 acres out from under him so that obviously aggravated the family but it didn't seem there was anything we could do. She had made the agreement (non-written) that when she passed the land and house on 8 acres was to go to me. There are numerous witnesses (both family/friends of family/non-family) that know this. Apparently in 2009 however she appointed a power of attorney. This POA is not a family member of ours or hers. About a month ago the POA sold the house and 10 acres to herself for $10 and the property is appraised at a little less than $25,000. Apparently it was said because the principal is in a nursing home that the POA presented her the idea that if she did not sell it that the state would claim it. She has not said anything to anyone about it, has tried keeping the principal in this case out of contact.

    The principal I learned has had a stroke and is bad shape from what I hear. I assume that she is mentally incapable of much at this point. My question with these details in mind is there anything I can do to make it where the land and house goes to either me or my dad to honor my grandpa's wishes? If I were to seek an attorney in this matter what type of attorney would be best to consult? Also, from reviewing the laws in place can she legally do this where she sells a deed to herself (not in the best interest of the principal) and for an amount that much less than actual value?

    Is there really anything I can do in this situation? I hope this was presented to the right topic and place here in this forum. Thank you for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,650

    Default Re: Is There Anything I Can Do to Make This Right

    First, your grandfather should have put his wishes in a will. He didn't so that is done.

    Second, a verbal agreement, in this case, isn't worth a hill of beans. You may not have standing to make any claim about the POA selling to themselves but you might want to discuss the issue with a local attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,668

    Default Re: Is There Anything I Can Do to Make This Right

    Quote Quoting starrynightowl89
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    Is there really anything I can do in this situation?
    You can't do anything. This is your father's issue. Your grandpa died without a will. Under Florida's law of intestate succession your father and grandpa's second spouse would have shared in grandpa's estate.

    What your grandpa told you doesn't count.

    What the POA did was probably illegal under POA law, possibly even criminal.

    I suggest that your father consult a probate attorney, for starters, and review his options.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Is There Anything I Can Do to Make This Right

    I apologize. I should have been more specific that my father is looking to do something about it but wanted me to do some research and ask around if possible to see if there was anything any of us could do. I am well aware of a verbal agreement not amounting to anything as far as having an equivalence to a legal document. What I was thinking in this case is that if the POA did something illegal in this case and there was something to tie my dad in this case to the property that perhaps there would be a way to reverse the sale and have it go back to my dad and then so on and so forth. Also, I had seen somewhere that unless a POA was provided that they had to be a descendant, ancestor, or spouse in which this case she is not. This is what is called a fraudulent conveyance, correct? With the POA selling the estate to herself for $10 I have seen somewhere where it is illegal or in some cases highly advised not to make self-dealings. Anything to add to this with all that being said as well? Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,650

    Default Re: Is There Anything I Can Do to Make This Right

    Your father definitely needs to talk to a lawyer.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    405 West Front street Bloomington, IL. 61701 USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Is There Anything I Can Do to Make This Right

    In Illinois there is a legal presumption that any gift, or transaction with a Power of Attorney is scrutinized. To overcome a presumption that the transaction is void the POA must establish the validity of the deal with a heightened burden of proof. This is very complicated and only a qualified probate/guardianship attorney will be able to assist you. Good luck. Certainly this is something that should be looked into.*

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Is There Anything I Can Do to Make This Right

    Quote Quoting starrynightowl89
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    He had always told me when we visited that he wanted me to have 10 acres that he had and that the house they lived in with 8 acres as well when his wife was no longer living there or had passed.
    If he failed to leave a will or trust, then what he wanted or told you he wanted doesn't matter.


    Quote Quoting starrynightowl89
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    She had made the agreement (non-written) that when she passed the land and house on 8 acres was to go to me.
    Agreement with whom? With you? What consideration did you give for this agreement? In any event, agreements relating to the title of real property must be in writing to be enforceable. Moreover, if you gave no consideration, then this was an unenforceable promise even if it had been in writing.


    Quote Quoting starrynightowl89
    View Post
    My question with these details in mind is there anything I can do to make it where the land and house goes to either me or my dad to honor my grandpa's wishes?
    No. Because your grandfather failed to make a will or trust, you had no right to anything from his estate, and you have no right to anything from your grandmother's widow's estate (unless she provides for you to receive something in a will or trust) because you are not related to her. For that same reason, you have no standing as relates to any malfeasance that your grandfather's widow's attorney-in-fact might have committed.

    Quote Quoting starrynightowl89
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    I apologize. I should have been more specific that my father is looking to do something about it
    Your grandfather died over a decade ago. If your father wanted to do something about the administration of your grandfather's estate and the disposition of assets, that should have happened years ago. He certainly can consult with a local probate attorney, but it's entirely likely that it's too late now. As far as what's going on between your grandfather's widow and her attorney-in-fact, your father has no more standing than you for the same reason.

    P.S. A "POA" (power of attorney) is a document. A person is not a POA. The person appointed by a POA is called an agent or attorney-in-fact. There is no requirement that an attorney-in-fact be a relative, and a fraudulent conveyance is a transfer without fair consideration in derogation of the rights of a creditor or creditors.

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