Katherine* accessed the Elder Law Program while suffering from a respiratory illness which has reduced her mobility. Her longtime husband and father of her children had passed away a few years earlier. She and her husband had owned a home and had some savings for their retirement and to eventually bequeath to their children. She sold her home after her husband passed and moved into supported housing.
A gentleman at the supported housing facility where Katherine resides befriended her and they began a romantic relationship. She felt that she had found someone to share her remaining years with, and the two were married. Soon after the wedding, Katherine’s husband and his brother took her to a lawyer’s office where an immediate Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), naming her new husband’s brother as her attorney, had been prepared prior to her arrival. Katherine was in poor health at the time and she was pressured to sign the document. Furthermore, the document was not thoroughly explained to her and therefore she did not understand the consequences of signing it. Katherine’s new husband and brother-in-law then pressured her to divulge her account passwords and then they emptied out her savings and proceeds from the sale of her home. Over time, they withdrew her government pension and government support she received during the pandemic. Her husband became increasing verbally and emotionally abusive toward her and she eventually separated from him.
The Elder Law Program assisted Katherine with revoking the existing EPA and drafted a new Will, EPA, and PD in accordance with her instructions. They were able to accommodate the signing of her new documents over a Zoom meeting, following the new Ministerial Order allowing signing of testamentary and advance care planning documents over video platform. Because the meeting was held virtually, she was able to avoid unnecessary exertion and potential exposure to COVID-19. Katherine was extremely grateful, relieved to be free from the abuse, and happy to name her children on her new documents.
These are the stories of how CLG helps people in need.
*not her real name