OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

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john doe by choice
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OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by john doe by choice » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:51 am

I post in this forum because A) I like it here, and B) because I get a fair amount of good info here...I pretty much don't post anywhere else unless I'm selling something.

That said, because I like it here, I feel it is my duty to let people know about something that has happened to my family, because this could happen to anyone, and nobody deserves it.

Last year, one of my aunts on my father's side passed away. I didn't know her well...my father passed when I was very young, and my mom didn't keep in touch with his side of the family. Anyway, my aunt included my brother and myself in her will, giving us equal shares of the inheritance. I won't say what the share was, or how many people are involved, but her estate was worth almost $500,000.

In the last few years of her life, she needed a caretaker, as she did not want to live in a nursing home. This caretaker waited until my aunt was pretty far along, kissing up to her and getting close, and then handed her a contract to sign that said that the caretaker could purchase my aunt's property and estate for a total of $4,000, upon my aunt's death. My aunt, drugged and on her deathbed, signed the contract.

Now, everyone who was listed in the original will has to go through a legal proceeding disputing the contract she signed after she made her will, and some lawyer is going to take up to 40% to deal with the legalese for us. Not only is the caretaker trying to rip off the family, but if we stop her, we're going to get ripped off by a lawyer...if my aunt had never signed the contract from the caretaker, we wouldn't have had to deal with the lawyer.

I know this shit happens to people all of the time, but it shouldn't, and when it does happen, it always blindsides you, because you just never know how scummy people can be until they're trying to rip you off. Personally, I never expected any money, and didn't even know that my aunt had passed away - this is a gift, and if I'd never been told about it, my life would go on. It would be nice to receive some memorabilia from my aunt's possessions, but I never expected a red cent from her or anyone else.

Anyway, I'm telling you guys this because I would never wish this on anyone. When someone you love is getting on in years and making a will, it is in your best interest to talk them into giving power of attorney over to their family, not to the lawyer helping with the will, and certainly not to some caretaker (I already don't trust lawyers, but now I have to put caretakers of the elderly on that same list). If there is anyway you can remove any right on anyone else's part to manipulate and take advantage of people in that way, it is in your best interest to do so.

That's my public service announcement for the week, I hope it helps somebody avoid what my father's family is going through right now.

Aequitas123
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by Aequitas123 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:00 pm

My family was split in half over estate dividing. It's amazing how greedy your own family can get when there's money involved. My girlfriends family went through a similar issue as you, but instead of a caretaker, it was a crazy Aunt.

Personally i find that kind of thing infuriates me. If i were you, i would give up 40% to a lawyer just to stick it to the greedy caretaker. You'll still come out on top financially. Plus, maybe you can charge the caretaker for the lawyer fees; something to do with Duress?

Angstrom
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by Angstrom » Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:10 pm

some nasty people out there. I think that these types do this stunt repeatedly, so it's worth doing something to stop them.

I have to say that my instinct is toward a balaclava and blackjack based retribution episode.
It appears that my hippy pacifist years are long-gone.

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dave999z
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by dave999z » Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:30 pm

john doe by choice wrote:I post in this forum because A) I like it here, and B) because I get a fair amount of good info here...I pretty much don't post anywhere else unless I'm selling something.

That said, because I like it here, I feel it is my duty to let people know about something that has happened to my family, because this could happen to anyone, and nobody deserves it.

Last year, one of my aunts on my father's side passed away. I didn't know her well...my father passed when I was very young, and my mom didn't keep in touch with his side of the family. Anyway, my aunt included my brother and myself in her will, giving us equal shares of the inheritance. I won't say what the share was, or how many people are involved, but her estate was worth almost $500,000.

In the last few years of her life, she needed a caretaker, as she did not want to live in a nursing home. This caretaker waited until my aunt was pretty far along, kissing up to her and getting close, and then handed her a contract to sign that said that the caretaker could purchase my aunt's property and estate for a total of $4,000, upon my aunt's death. My aunt, drugged and on her deathbed, signed the contract.

Now, everyone who was listed in the original will has to go through a legal proceeding disputing the contract she signed after she made her will, and some lawyer is going to take up to 40% to deal with the legalese for us. Not only is the caretaker trying to rip off the family, but if we stop her, we're going to get ripped off by a lawyer...if my aunt had never signed the contract from the caretaker, we wouldn't have had to deal with the lawyer.

I know this shit happens to people all of the time, but it shouldn't, and when it does happen, it always blindsides you, because you just never know how scummy people can be until they're trying to rip you off. Personally, I never expected any money, and didn't even know that my aunt had passed away - this is a gift, and if I'd never been told about it, my life would go on. It would be nice to receive some memorabilia from my aunt's possessions, but I never expected a red cent from her or anyone else.

Anyway, I'm telling you guys this because I would never wish this on anyone. When someone you love is getting on in years and making a will, it is in your best interest to talk them into giving power of attorney over to their family, not to the lawyer helping with the will, and certainly not to some caretaker (I already don't trust lawyers, but now I have to put caretakers of the elderly on that same list). If there is anyway you can remove any right on anyone else's part to manipulate and take advantage of people in that way, it is in your best interest to do so.

That's my public service announcement for the week, I hope it helps somebody avoid what my father's family is going through right now.
Sorry to hear that. That sucks.

Two things: (1) 40% is probably too big a cut for the lawyer (especially in this economy). It *is* often better to give the lawyer a cut rather than just pay hourly, because it makes the lawyer want to win. But even in hugely lucrative personal injury cases, I think 33% is about as high as it gets. (2) It may be possible to recover attorney fees in your case - what this caretaker did was fraud. In addition, you may have other claims (e.g., intentional infliction of emotional distress). My point is just to assess whether your lawyer is aggresively pursuing many avenues to bring the hurt. You can shop around before retaining a lawyer - each should put on a dog and pony show to convince you why they'll net you the best result.

3dot...
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by 3dot... » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:49 pm

not that I doubt you man... but,,,
well...did you guys visit her enough...?
sometimes old people are bitter that their family has no interest in them...
and give out to the one who's there when they are at their weakest...

I would hesitate to judge the caretaker or the aunt without hearing all testimonies and seeing some evidence....maybe she wanted to give him the place...
if she's a hustler...seems weird he would take advantage and sign her to get the place for 4000$... when he could've got it for 1000$?...or for free...?! (pretty much the same ratio)
I dunno ...sounds fishy...
what do you thing Mr Watson?

that said there are many scum of the earth...greedy people ... etc...the lesson learned is worth more than money imo...
...and yes.. there are assholes in this world ..so DO BEWARE !
(I got stabbed in the back real hard by a former business partner..who took off with 200000$(all we had) ..disappeared ...and left me to deal with bankruptcy... can't find him to this day...)
don't let that shit get you down...be strong!

cheers and thanks..
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rapidix
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by rapidix » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:04 pm

john doe, thanks for the voice of experience. i'm very sorry for your trouble.
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aisling
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by aisling » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:33 pm

john doe-

Sorry about your experience. My own mother did the same thing to me and my kids when my grandfather became ill. She never spoke to the guy for close to 20 years (bitter about something I was never privy to) and I was the one who called him, visited him, wrote him and fostered a relationship. Toward the end of his life, I had a young child and some life struggles (finding stable work, a few failed business opportunities that included music), that put me into a bad place where I was "ashamed" to keep in frequent communication. My "intuition" arouse me to call him one day, and the caretaker said that he had only a few weeks to live, and to visit him asap. When I arrived there, I found out that my mother had "let go of the past," and fostered a newfound relationship with her father, my grandfather......While terminal, she had his will changed a month before he died, and all of his estate was left to her. She refused to acknowledge the situation, and I had to contact a lawyer (we were talking a few hundred grand that could have helped me, my children, my future, the planet, charity, etc...), who after 2 years of handling the case on contingency, admitted that there is no way to win unless we spend thousands of dollars on depositions, etc (he lived in FL, we are in CA)..... I don't have those kinds of funds.

Sad to say my mother and I never spoke again, she never met her grandchildren, and left such a sense of betrayal upon me, that I could never let her meet my children.....

It is sad to see people and families get so greedy.
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3dot...
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by 3dot... » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:48 pm

:(
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b0unce
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by b0unce » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:15 pm

tough shit.
spreader of butter

bodhi71
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by bodhi71 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:00 am

When I was 15, my mom, sister and I were living with my grandmother when she passed away.
Before her body was even removed from her house my cousin started taking things, I never met anyone so fucking detestable!
The property was later sold to his father who allowed us to rent, since my mother had little means coming from a recent divorce.
We had gone somewhere only to return to find more things stolen, things too big to be taken when people were around.
My cousin now lives in that house, hopefully miserable and destitute.

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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by djsynchro » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:23 am

Two of my uncles got into a fistfight at my grandfather's funeral over the inheritance. This whole world is consumed by greed.

Lt.Ellen Ripley in Aliens: "You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage".

john doe by choice
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by john doe by choice » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:54 am

3dot - I said in my post that I pretty much didn't know her, I only ever visited my family in California once, since my mother wasn't keeping up relations with them (me, my mom, and my brother lived in the midwest since I was two). I have no idea why the caretaker didn't make the contract out to give away the estate as for free - that is peculiar, I can only assume that since the caretaker wrote up the contract that they are trying to cover their asses from some legalese that I don't know anything about. Also, the caretaker knew about the will and hid the contract she had my aunt sign until after my aunt was dead, which is a sure sign of low integrity and dishonesty, but thanks for the kind words anyway.

bOunce - I think it's pretty fair to say that everyone here knows you're a asshole, there's no need to go on reminding everyone.

Everyone else, thanks for the support...like I said, I really didn't know my aunt, and didn't really expect anything in a will...this isn't about me being mad about getting screwed on the will, this is about warning you good people to look out for bad people who are in a place to take advantage of your older family members. This situation, unlike most, it seems, is bringing my father's family together, albeit against the caretaker. All in all, this is a really good example of what happens when you DO leave them alone and don't involve yourselves in their lives - it's when you are at your youngest and oldest that you really need people to be there for you, and as I said in the opening post because I hope it never happens to any of you (even you, bounce).

ThrowAway
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by ThrowAway » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:39 am

ideas for payback 1) legal action. 2) see if theres some ethical board that over sees nurses in the area and try and have her license revoked or at least something put on her record. 3) wait a while, see if she has a relationship with someone hire a beleiveable gigalo, get pictures, ruin life 4) if none of previous solutions work, wait some years and then punch her in the face randomly.

3dot...
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by 3dot... » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:21 am

ThrowAway wrote:ideas for payback 1) legal action. 2) see if theres some ethical board that over sees nurses in the area and try and have her license revoked or at least something put on her record. 3) wait a while, see if she has a relationship with someone hire a beleiveable gigalo, get pictures, ruin life 4) if none of previous solutions work, wait some years and then punch her in the face randomly.
+ 1 !
she hid it huh... well that does sound sneaky...
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b0unce
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Re: OT: Friendly advice for those with elderly family members

Post by b0unce » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:29 am

After further reading I can only re-iterate: tough shit.

You petulant piggies obviously don't deserve a bean.
spreader of butter

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