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  1. #1

    Default Protecting Assets of an Elderly Parent Who is Getting Married

    My 77-year old, widowed step-father remarried last month. He is often confused and will even hang up the phone in the middle of a conversation. She told us she noticed he was confused during their phone coversations and decided then it was her place to "take care of him." We had one-day's notice that he was marrying this woman and we didn't even know they had been talking. He and my late mother knew her many years ago when my mother had cancer the first time, but she left after my mom recovered. She's told him my mother asked her to take care of him if anything happened to her, which none of us believe, except him. In spite of his children's concerns, he insisted on marrying and many, many things don't add up with the new wife. She's constantly lying about simple things and purposefully misleads him into thinking things that aren't true. She didn't even seem concerned when he went to the hospital with a life-threatening illness and the no tears were shed when the Dr. asked about a living will and whether or not to revive him if his heart stopped. She's been spending HIS money like crazy and is supporting her family. Of course, he added her to his accounts, so we can't stop that. The only money he has is from the life insurance my mother left him. My question is, what recourse will we have if he is left without the means to obtain long-term care because she spent his money? Once they married, aren't her assets hers, too? Will she be responsible for providing him care even if she leaves him after he's broke?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Second Wife Spending Father's Money

    It sounds like your father is not legally competent, and may not have been competent at the time of marriage.

    You should consider consulting a lawyer who handles guardianship matters, and discuss the issue of bringing a guardianship / conservatorship action to take control of your father's estate and, to the extent necessary, his personal and medical care. A guardian would also be able to contest the validity of the marriage on his behalf, if in fact he was not competent at the time of marriage.

    You should disclose to the lawyer how you think your father would react to guardianship proceedings - some people are very cooperative, but some get very angry when their kids suggest that they are no longer competent to manage their own affairs or, particularly, marriage.

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