Dear Ask the Lawyer:
I’m an idiot!
I don’t have a lot of money. I trusted my daughter. I gave her my life savings of $30,000 to hold for me. I was afraid I was going to have to go into a nursing home, and I did not want the state to take all my money.
Well, I decided I didn’t have to go into a nursing home, so I want my $30,000 back. My daughter refuses to give it to me. I went to an attorney who asked me if there was any paper trail of the $30,000. I trusted my daughter. Nothing was in writing.
Can you help me?
You have several problems. First, since your daughter will not return your money willingly, you have to file a lawsuit.
The lawsuit will be a question of “he said, she said.”
Did you give her the $30,000 by check or by cash? If you gave her the $30,000 in cash with no receipt, then your chances of winning the lawsuit, which were not very good anyway, are now even worse.
If there is some paper documentation like a check, then you still have another problem. It can be argued that you gave her the $30,000 so you would qualify for Medicaid when you entered the nursing home. You were essentially hiding your money from the state.
Even if the court believes you, you may not receive a judgment in your favor. It could be argued that your purpose in transferring your money to your daughter was to commit fraud, and the court may not come to your aid.
You have a weak case. ••