In California, an elderly couple is facing eviction because of the actions of their grandson. Helen and Hank Kawecki, 87 and 88, are in the process of packing up their possessions in their home of 56 years.
A few years ago, when the Kawecki’s were thinking about taking out a loan from a bank using their house as collateral, their grandson convinced them to take out the loan from him instead. He told his grandparents that they would have a hard time qualifying for a loan because they are retired.
The grandson convinced the Kawecki’s to leave the money in his account while he gave them an “allowance.” Then he sold the house without their knowledge. The Kawecki’s learned about the sale from a neighbor and the last of their money has gone for legal fees.
Unfortunately we all depend on family and sometimes are family members are not the people we think we are.
The moral of this sad story, however, is that a lawyer’s advice at the beginning (an ounce of prevention) is well worth spending the money on legal fees at the end (a pound of cure). In my practice, we offer a consultation for a very reasonable price. There are legal ways to prevent what happened to the Kawecki’s, safeguards that can be built into the documents. In addition, some practical advice about giving money to a family member (almost never a good idea) could have made all the difference to this couple.