Photo: Jon Manchester
When someone leaves you a house in their will, one might expect that to be a good thing.
But all it has done is leave a bitter taste in Jolaine Hall’s mouth.
The Enderby senior says she befriended Leo Pidskalny a few years ago, and she ended up taking him into her home and becoming his caretaker before his death at 86 years old in 2017.
Due to a falling out with his sons, they were written out of the will and Hall was made recipient of the home.
However, it has since been sold and demolished, and a new four-plex sits on the property.
Hall feels as if it was pulled out from under her before she had a chance to do anything about it. She says she never expected to be named in the will and wasn’t helping Pidskalny with the expectation he would repay her.
Unfortunately, the home had fallen into disrepair and had been condemned for years. It was the focus of numerous orders to clean up the property by the City of Enderby.
Hall says Pidskalny’s family ignored the orders.
“It was no place for him to live … I said ‘Let’s get you out of here,'” Hall recalled. Prior to that, she would regularly bring him food and other necessities.
At first, she set him up in a motel room, and later “took him home.”
“He stayed with me till he died four months later,” she says.
“He was like a little kid. He couldn’t believe someone actually cared … He said ‘You gave me a home, I’m giving you a home.'”
However, aside from the condition of the home, mortgage payments had not been made, and the bank foreclosed on the property.
Vernon lawyer Ed Woolley, who became involved on Hall’s behalf, says he looked into the matter, and there is “nothing untoward.”
“The property was in foreclosure and was sold by the bank for what was deemed fair market value. Basically, it was a tear-down … It’s a very unfortunate story.”
Hall says Pidskalny’s sons challenged the will, leading to the legal battle. But, it was all for nought, as the foreclosure was legal and takes precedence.
Hall found out the home had been sold at the end of last year, and it was torn down in May.
At first, she believed the city had sold it for unpaid taxes, as the property had been a sore point with bylaw staff for years. However, Woolley said the city had no involvement in the sale.