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Help! What Can I Do If My Parent Is Being Manipulated To Give Away His Assets or Changing His Estate Plan in Santa Clara County?

These cases are the most difficult in California.  Even if you know your parent is being manipulated through undue influence, taking action can be difficult and complicated.  These cases are difficult because your only viable option during your parent’s lifetime is to file a petition action.  If you take this course of action, you have to win the conservatorship petition you may end up in a worse situation than when you started even though you were only trying to protect your parent.  In Santa Clara County and the surrounding counties, the property values are high and elders can be targets to unscrupulous individuals.  

There is no easy solutions for a child to take control of their parent’s assets.  Generally by the time the children know of the manipulation and want to take action, the bad influencer has already had the estate plan changed.  Generally, the trust will provide a way for the successor trustee to step in and take control...

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My father has dementia. Can he execute a will?

Dementia is a progressive disease which affects mood, behavior and memory.  There are many stages of dementia.  Just because your father has a diagnosis of dementia does not mean he cannot execute a will.  However, it is best to document your father's capacity at the time the will is executed by having your father mental capacity evaluated by a medical professional such as a geriatrician who specializes in dementia.  

In order to execute a will in California, your father needs to have the requisite legal capacity.  If he does not have the legal capacity, the will can be invalidated.  A person has the mental capacity to execute a will if the person has the capacity to understand the nature of the will and its consequences, understand their extent of their property, understand and remember their family and how the will affects those individuals.  

While this sounds like a simple concept, it can be very complex when someone has...

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