A year-long courtroom battle has ended in victory for Stella Wasiuk.
The 84-year-old widow with no close family has been fighting a woman she trusted—her former caregiver Pauline Reid, reports thestar.com.
In May 2010, Wasiuk provided $477,000 to buy a four-bedroom home in Ajax, Ontario in exchange for Reid’s promise to look after her for the rest of her life. Reid somehow ended up as the registered owner, reports thestar.com.
Wasiuk’s lawsuit claimed in exchange for allowing Reid to live in her house (an interest-free “loan”), Reid was supposed to provide $800 a month in caregiving, “including food and necessities of life.” Reid was also supposed to maintain the property and pay all related costs, but did not do so.
If at any time Reid stopped providing care to Wasiuk, the “loan” was due immediately, reports thestar.com. Reid couldn’t sell the house without Wasiuk’s permission but, if Wasiuk died, Reid would own it “free and clear of any claim whatsoever.”
Until October 2011, Wasiuk had no clue she wasn’t the registered owner. Although she’d consulted a lawyer before agreeing to the deal with Reid, she said she didn’t understand the flurry of documents she was asked to sign. This led to the property title being in Reid’s name.
The abuse didn’t stop there. Wasiuk claimed she was also threatened into loaning Reid and her family $62,000. Reid also took away Wasiuk’s phone, didn’t take her to scheduled appointments and would often disappear for days at a time, adds thestar.com.
The nightmare came to an end last week, when a judge removed Reid, whose whereabouts are unknown, from the title and registered it under Wasiuk’s name only.
This case is a cautionary tale for senior clients. Here are some more articles to help protect yours against potential elder abuse.