‘All kinds of stories and explanations are popping up’: My brother moved in with our mother after our father died in 2015, and transferred family property into his name

May 17, 2022

There’s a gray line between the skulduggery of an opportunistic child and coercive control. The latter typically involves isolating the elderly family relative, controlling their finances — including transferring assets — controlling their time and gaslighting them (“Your other children don’t have your best interests at heart. They’re only after your money!”). The villain posing as the hero.

Neil Carbone, partner, trusts and estates, Farrell Fritz, says this kind of situation is all too common. “Unfortunately, this is a fact pattern that comes up with increasing frequency, that is, one of several siblings first becomes a parent’s primary caregiver and then also becomes the primary beneficiary of that parent’s largesse, either during the parent’s life or on death.”

It sometimes happens with a slightly different twist, however. “A common variation arises within blended families, where a longstanding plan to leave all property on the death of the surviving spouse equally among the children of both marriages gets set aside by the surviving spouse, who chooses to benefit only his or her own children,” Carbone adds.

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  • Related Practice Areas: Estate Litigation, Trusts & Estates
  • Featured Attorneys: Neil V. Carbone
  • Publications: MarketWatch