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Elderly Couple Sues Son Over Ownership Of Their Home

November 6, 1988

MILTON, Mass. (AP) _ An elderly couple is suing their son for allegedly defrauding them of their home by having it put in his name to save money on inheritance taxes.

Hyman Freeman, a retired fruit seller, and his wife, Frances, who are in their late 70s, two years ago agreed to put the house in their son’s name.

The agreement called for Leonard Freeman, 52, to be responsible for upkeep of the house while his parents lived there on a 25-year lease, the Freemans said. The deal allowed them to cancel if they wanted and have the title put back in their name, they said.

But the younger Freeman hasn’t made some necessary repairs, the Freemans said, and they’ve sued to get the property back, without the $100,000 mortgage they say their son took out on the house to get a line of credit.

Leonard Freeman challenged his parents’ claim and now both sides are scheduled to meet in court in January.

The Freemans fear that losing the lawsuit could also mean losing the roof over their head.

″We won’t have enough to live on,″ Hyman Freeman said.

″We haven’t slept nights,″ Mrs. Freeman said. ″I’m up all night crying. Every night I’m the same way. It’s pretty tough when your son does that to you - and after you’ve been so good to him.″

Leonard Freeman, a musician and court officer in Boston Land Court, has declined to comment. And his lawyer, Paul Driscoll of Marshfield, said only: ″I want to try my cases in court and not in the arena of public opinion.″

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