Q: I recently found out – purely by accident – that one of my sisters filed a quit claim deed on all three of my mother’s properties (two houses and lake property) just three days before she passed away.
I have not been able to locate any power of attorney papers filed in the appropriate county but my mother was hospitalized with pancreatic cancer and under heavy morphine to the point that she was in a comatose-like state.
Do these quit claim deeds now mean that my sister now owns all three properties? Are my other sister and I are left out of receiving any of her properties or belongings?
A: My condolences on your loss. To make matters worse, it’s awful to think that your sister might have taken advantage of your mother who, it could be argued, was not of sound mind in the last few days before she died of cancer.
You will have to discuss this issue immediately with a real estate attorney who can help you figure out what kind of path you have ahead of you. You will also have to discuss the situation with your other sister and decide how you will deal with your sister.
But, if your sister did get your mother to sign a quit claim deed on three properties, and your mother was of sound mind when she did it, and the deeds were recorded properly, then your sister might indeed own all three properties and you and your other sister would be left out of receiving anything from those properties.
That’s why you have to speak with an attorney immediately.
In addition to all of the legal hills you’ll now have to climb, you also have to deal with a sister who has treated you and your other sister extremely poorly, if it turns out that she forged the deeds or your mother did not have the capacity to sign the deeds. Get copies of the deeds and then review them to see if it looks like your mother signed the documents and then discuss these issues with your attorney.