Can my mother sue me because I bought a home at my grandfather's wishes and depleted any possible inheritance in the process?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
Bonillak asked...

I live in NJ and my grandfather moved in with my family and I after being told he had 2-4 weeks to live and spending 23 days in a nursing home. He has since been on hospice care and we just made a year!!! Our home was much to small for long term care so after I sold his house, he decided to gift me money to buy a much larger home to fit us all and give himself privacy/own bath. We did the gifting and deed with him having life estate(all done thru a lawyer), this took most of his estate and now I will be using funds to prepay a funeral, etc for when the time comes. The way things look, his estate will be worth close to nothing at his passing. My mother(his daughter) has done nothing with his care, doesn't visit, doesn't call, basically they have no relationship. Twice during all this selling,buying, etc I had hospice do mini mental evaluations on him so no one could say in the future that he wasn't in sound mind. The Will that is in place leaves everything to my mother and I 50/50 and now that there isn't much there and may be depleted she is not speaking to me at all, claims she will sue me for him gifting me money for a house, etc etc. If everything is done correct, can she do this? I even have many letters in addition to legal things that he has signed telling me to use money for this and that(not thru lawyer). No money was wasted. She is just bitter and angry she won't be getting a large sum of money if any. We now have no relationship, she won't speak to my 3 kids now either(ages 8, 14 and 20) and she is trying to get his stepchild to sue down the road also(even though they aren't in the will and there mother has been deceased). I'm just hoping my kids and I won't end up homeless all because I filled my grandfather's wish of not leaving him in a nursing home as he loves the care he gets here. Thanks for any advice


Expert Answers

From what you have told me, you have cared well for your grandfather and have done nothing wrong, either legally or morally. Of course your mother could sue over her allegations of depletion of her inheritance. After all, in the U.S., anyone can sue anyone about anything. But: 1) Your mother would have to pay for a lawyer to file and prosecute the lawsuit. As you no doubt are aware, lawyers are expensive. I cannot imagine that any lawyer would take your mother's lawsuit on contingency. You mother would have to come up with cash to pay a lawyer. 2) Your mother has no right to an inheritance from her father, your grandfather. Your grandfather has the right to do whatever he wants to with his property while he is alive, as long as he is legally competent to do so. 3) Your father's intention to give you money to buy a house he can comfortably live in seems well-documented. Given the fact that you would be able to prove in a court that your father was competent and chose to give you money to buy the house (and that there was good reason for him to do this), it would be highly unlikely that your mother cold prevail in a lawsuit. What proof could she offer that you took advantage of your grandfather?

You might face more trouble with your mother, but I would not worry that your kids and you will end up homeless. You won't