“I will never apologize for suing the estate of my deceased friend and client. An acquaintance of mine became inflicted with Parkinson’s, and he also suffered from Type II diabetes. A time had come when he was hospitalized and was subsequently sent to a rehabilitation facility. The doctor was not inclined to allow my friend to return home unless someone was present to help him. I was approached by his nephew, who I happened to be living with, to stay with him for a few weeks until he was back on his feet. I was also asked to be present for a visit by the hospital social worker, to assure them that he was not living alone. My partner assured me that rent would be taken care of, and I could return home when all was settled. At the time, I did not have a steady job and I felt empathy for his uncle, so I agreed.
The uncle lived in the city, fifty miles from my rural home. I was told to make myself comfortable in the third-story master bedroom of his pricey townhome. Days passed into months, and months passed into years. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease. The more time that passed, the more my responsibilities increased. I was now a caregiver working 24/7, with no pay and no days off. After a couple of years had gone by, I felt that I was being taken advantage of. I asked to be compensated. My friend was financially secure and could afford to pay me and a professional nurse. He didn’t want to do either. He offered a ridiculously small ‘allowance’ and reminded me of what a nice townhome I had the privilege of living in. I reminded him of everything I do every day for him, and that it would cost him much more to hire a live-in caregiver if I were to leave. After some more discussion, he agreed to pay a little more and assured me that when he was gone, I would be compensated in his will. Over the course of six years, he would repeat his intention to include me in his will on several occasions.
Sadly, the disease got the best of him, and he passed away after a three-week hospital stay. I had become quite close to him, after all, that time together. I missed him and grieved for him. Two days after his death, his brother, who lived three thousand miles away, called me. He thanked me for all I had done. He told me that there was no will, but as soon as the townhome was sold, he would send me ‘a little something’. He then proceeded to tell me that I needed to vacate immediately, so he could sell the place. I was in shock and disbelieve! Our subsequent conversations deteriorated into insults and threats. So I was left with no choice. I sued my friend’s estate for back pay. The case is pending.”