“We firmly believe and are prepared to subpoena witnesses and documents to prove these facts. I do not relish the thought of attempting to evict a 92 year old woman, however, based upon practical evidence as presented above, a reasonable trier of fact will make determination in favor of the lessor.”
The quote above is from a correspondence with the landlord’s attorney to my client’s attorney. She is a widow who is trying to take over her own finances, which had previously been taken care of by her husband. Not long after his death, my client began to run into a common form of elder abuse: Bullying by landlords.
In the case of my client, the landlord is saying that if she doesn’t sign a new lease now for 2014 – with a $400 increase in rent – he will refuse to offer her any lease whatsoever, at any other time. As his lawyer so eloquently asserted at the top of the page, he does not “relish the thought of attempting to evict a 92 year old woman,” but he will.
I was previously her financial concierge and was added as her power of attorney to help her navigate the legalities of this problem.
A power of attorney is a written authorization to represent or act on another’s behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter.
We’ve been meeting with lawyers and consulting the different resources available to figure out what her next step should be. Some of the great resources available include Connecticut Protective Services for the Elderly.
“Just do this…”
“Just do this” is a common phrase for elderly people to hear. Many of them will comply, whatever the request is. My client’s landlord must have been aware of this when he tried to collect rent from a period of time before he owned the house. This was clearly a cynical attempt to extract more money out of what he thought was a complacent and confused old woman. In other words, he tried to pull a fast one on her because he thought he could get away with it.
As her power of attorney, I “got” my client’s “back,” and retained a lawyer. Unfortunately there are many seniors out there who do not have such protection.
The reward for living a long life and productive life should not be getting exploited in retirement. Protective measures such as designating powers of attorney and the ongoing support from friends and family are the best way to preserve your favorite senior’s well-being. Plus it’s fun to listen to them talk about their lives during the historic times they experienced first hand. Call your favorite senior today!
Mother’s Day 2013 is fast approaching! This Sunday, May 12, make sure you show your appreciation to your mom, your grandma, your friends’ moms…and all the other special women in your life!
Happy Mother’s day!
Judith Heft, Principal, Judith Heft & Associates is a personal financial concierge with offices in Greenwich and Stamford. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 203-978-1858.