When John Potter built his house in 1957, he never dreamed that nearly six decades later, someone would be trying to kick him out of it.
Yet that is the situation the 91-year-old widower is facing as his daughter, Janice Cottrill, is aiming to evict him, after having transferred the property deed to herself during a brief tenure as her parents’ power of attorney (POA).
The Potters appointed Janice, their only daughter, as their POA back in 2004. One of the couple’s primary concerns was that their elderly son, who suffers from autism, would be properly taken care of, in the event that they themselves could no longer do so. It wasn’t until 2010 that the Potter’s learned of their daughter’s clandestine real estate transaction.
John won his initial suit to get his house back from Janice, but the ruling was later overturned in appeals, due to the statute of limitations that applied to undoing the property transfer.
After a failed attempt to declare her father legally incompetent and sent to a nursing home, Janice served him with a notice that terminated his lease in February 2013, with a formal eviction hearing to be held on June 12th.
Faced with few options for keeping her grandfather in his home, Jaclyn made an unusual move—she turned to “crowdfunding,” a form of online fundraising that allows individuals and organizations to ask for monetary donations to pay for everything from healthcare expenses, to art projects.
According to the profile Jaclyn set up on GoFundMe, a popular crowdfunding site, Janice plans to sell the house that John currently lives in. (Learn more about how crowdfunding can help caregivers raise money.)
“The efforts of the family to convince Janice to allow John to live out his life in his home have failed,” Fraley writes, “Janice states she needs the money, so the old man must go.”
The campaign, “A Plea to Save Grandpa’s House,” has raised enough money to buy John’s house back from Janice. The profile’s goal was to raise $125,000. In less than a month, over $138,000 has been donated more than 5,000 strangers. Jaclyn says that all of the additional funds will go to help pay for her grandfather’s care needs.
John’s struggle to keep his house is far from over, but the kindness of strangers has given him a fighting chance.
See the above video to learn more about John Potter and his battle to continue living in the house he built with his bare hands:
Keep reading to learn more about how the power of a POA can be potentially abused, and how to prevent something like this from happening to your or your loved ones…