Harry Gross: A larcenous housekeeper?

Posted: March 30, 2011

Dear Harry: My 88-year-old aunt died in January. Her younger brother lived with her at the time to help care for her. Neither of them was completely "with it."

She lived in her home for more than 30 years. She had two children who died back in 2000, and she had four grandchildren. Her lawyer prepared a will for her in 2008 which left all her possessions equally to her grandchildren. In 2005, they hired a housekeeper-caretaker who lived with them. A new will was prepared for my aunt in 2010 which left everything to this housekeeper with zero for the grandkids and my uncle.

My uncle just died. Now this lady got a new Cadillac in 2009 and countless other "gifts." The grandchildren are all teenagers, and they could use anything they can get. They are now living with my cousin on a very limited income. Is there a way I can help them get some of her assets?

What Harry says: Let's try to use every avenue available. It appears to me that this caretaker used either undue influence or duress in getting that new will signed. My guess is that there were threats of leaving, or physical harm, or both. Get a lawyer who will take the case on a contingent-fee basis.

Also contact the district attorney, because it appears that a crime (or more than one) has been committed. Don't contact this lady directly because she may be dangerous. Do not delay.

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

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