If my husband and I took 24 hour care of his elderly grandmother and she passed away, do we have right to any compensation?

We took 24 hour care for her for 2 years. We received no salary, but we were always told we would be receiving “monetary help” when we left. After she passed we were made to leave her house within a week. She had severe dementia and was very abusive but we were able to kep her out of a facility. Since she passed her eldest son keeps trying to force us to sign papers saying we won’t sue for anything owed. We refuse and want to know what we may be owed. She had no Will and had a trust that was never finished.

Asked on June 29, 2012 under Estate Planning, Illinois


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. What you had was an oral contract with his grandmaother and it may or may not be enforceable here, as it could be seen also as an oral Will, which is not enforceable in Illinois.  I would check with an attorney in your area to be sure.  Since you state that she had dementia she was not able to enter in to a contract.  Was this contract made before she had dementia?  You are right not to sign anything until you speak with some one who can ask you all of the right questions in a more private setting.  Good luck.   

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