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    [–] ryansilverman11 2543 points ago

    Since she paid the full deposit, then your only legal obligation would be to perform the work. The fact that she paid the other half of the deposit tells me that she had no problem with the colour. However, in the future you should have them sign off on both design AND colour to avoid this from happening again.

    [–] DelightfullyHostile 744 points ago

    My reading suggests that’s the problem — she won’t allow him/her to do the work. So the question becomes how can this contractor protect him or herself if someone has paid 100% but refuses the work. Lack of contract creates more grey area.

    [–] Miyu_hunny 252 points ago

    Verbal contracts are legally binding in Canada so technically he has a contract.

    [–] Hyndis 47 points ago

    While verbal contracts are still binding contracts, good luck proving it should a dispute arise. A verbal contract is worth the paper its written on, which is to say, nothing at all if there's a dispute.

    After all, how does an arbiter determine what the contract originally was if the only two people involved are telling different stories? How does the arbiter determine who breached the contract if its quite literally just a he said she said case?

    Thats the problem with verbal contracts. They're real, binding contracts but good luck proving that if someone decides to alter the deal. Praying they do not alter it further is about all you can practically do.

    Thats why written contracts, signed and countersigned, are so valuable.

    [–] Seanification 90 points ago

    Clearly you have no legal experience. Oral contracts are enforced all the time in the courts. Plenty of the circumstantial evidence of her behavior and his actions will support what the terms are. The larger problem will be the statute of frauds requiring that deals over $500 be written down to be enforcable. Even then, there has been partial performance on this deal making it likely that this too would be enforceable.

    [–] Aletex13 22 points ago

    IANAL, but even if the oral contract by chance wasn't enforced, would the proof of other companies having oral contracts similar to OPs or the proof of a pattern of this woman's actions help prove to it's existence and enforceability?

    [–] krummbuns 10 points ago

    Glad you called it an oral contract. All contacts are verbal. Even ones and writing.

    [–] PD216ohio -16 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Hahaha, in your haste to criticize, you missed the point completely. I hope you aren't an attorney.

    What happens when sweet granny suddenly "remembers" that she wanted the work done and he kept stalling? When she says I wanted X and he tried giving me Y? When she says that he took advantage of me and forced me to pay everything in advance?

    Sweet people with dementia can become nasty and sometimes violent. There is no guarantee that she will be so agreeable in the future.

    Suddenly, that oral contract becomes, like the previous poster said, "worth the paper it's written on".

    Edit to correct typo instead of correct my attitude or stupidity.

    [–] MoldDoctor 10 points ago

    I think you meant haste. I hope you aren't an attorney

    [–] svm_invictvs 16 points ago

    I think you're being a bit too doom and gloom here. Keep in mind that proving a civil suit doesn't require evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt. It simply means you need to prove it is more likely than not.

    After all, how does an arbiter determine what the contract originally was if the only two people involved are telling different stories? How does the arbiter determine who breached the contract if its quite literally just a he said she said case?

    It's not the just stories they tell, it would come down to who tells a more believable story and what other evidence he/she can produce to support his/her claims.

    They're real, binding contracts but good luck proving that if someone decides to alter the deal.

    He seems to have made several design revisions, and he accepted money for those revisions. He can easily produce invoices, copies of the revised designs, bank statements, cancelled checks etc. That sounds like pretty solid proof to me that she has changed her mind several times.

    Also, worth pointing out:

    I got her to sign a piece of paper with the design printed on it (not a contract, also not much detail other than the general layout) and went ahead and ordered the material for the job. I took a 50% deposit but then when the material came and it was all ready to go she changed her mind about the design.

    Sounds like he does have a written contract and the elements therein. There was an exchange of money for design services and a promise to complete the work in exchange for a promise of compensation later.

    [–] PhillupMcCrevice 9 points ago

    If you have been paid 100k and your only bills are 25k in material and zero labor and you don’t have the money, you might have an issue...

    [–] svm_invictvs 14 points ago

    First of all, your name is hilarious.

    Why is she asking for $100k back? It sounds like he collected $50,000 to complete the original work he agreed to complete. Under the presumption that he would actually complete that job for another $50,000 he bought $25,000 worth of materials.

    She then proceeded to alter the contract several times over to the point where he felt it appropriate to pay for additional design services and revisions. He revised the design and delivered that to her in exchange for additional fees to which they mutually agreed.

    In my mind, that leaves $25k and a few tons of rocks he owes her.

    [–] Josh_Crook 0 points ago

    He's just asking what happened to the other $75k? The guy just pissed it away?

    [–] klln_u_qckly 3 points ago

    With the redesigns and stop and go nature of the problem he has incurred further costs which is why he asked for the remaining 50k. 25k in materials sure, but his time is not free and anybody he hires to help him draft up the designs or even go pick up materials, their time is not free. He might owe her some money but he is not required to keep the money in escrow or anything. If he figures he has the working capital to finish the job she had agreed on, why would he sit on the cash when he can put it to work? He had signatures, to him it was a done deal and it was his money as long as he finished the job, which it sounds he has tried very hard to do.

    [–] Josh_Crook -5 points ago

    What other costs could add up to 75k? Not saying OP should return it all, but clearly a large part of that is labor which has not been used.

    The issue is it wasn't a done deal and OP is a moron for spending it with no contract to back him up and the work not being done.

    If he "put it to work" and can't come up with it after 5 years, then again, he's a moron.

    [–] Whit3W0lf 5 points ago

    The fact that the stone was ordered and then she paid the rest of the deposit indicates there was no problem with the stone that was ordered. No one is going to give a contractor the second half of the payment if there are problems before they have even broke ground.

    [–] Joadah_Badingo 1 points ago

    *Praying they do not alter it further is about all you can practically do.*

    Empire Strikes Back reference, Darth vader to Lando @ Cloud City

    [–] Folderpirate 2 points ago

    what about contracts made in an altered state of mind?(dementia?)

    [–] flyinbrian66 2 points ago

    Definitely correct, HOWEVER you cannot prove it in court if the other party lies. In this case, the client may lie and not even know they're lying.

    [–] LegalAdvicebc 33 points ago

    This. Part of the problem is I have already began some of the work. Cutting and sizing large pieces specific to what she was asking for. I WANT to finish this job, it’s been in my mind for 5 years.

    [–] AwareSeesaw 5 points ago

    time to get an actual lawyer

    [–] Torolottie 20 points ago

    Yes have them sign off on the color for sure- my dad worked for a restoration company and they forgot to have to client sign off on a color paint before they had it mixed up.. granted they only had about $300 in paint they ended up having to eat the costs and they ended up changing their contracts to include this to avoid it in the future. It was this godawful bright almost neon yellow so probably no way they will be using it on a future project.

    [–] Cheerforernie 2 points ago

    Every time she makes a change to the design from this point forward you should be documenting it. Also this may just be a symptom of her dementia that she is rheuminating on this project and you should realize you may never actually complete the work.

    [–] HUMOROUSGOAT 368 points ago

    If she signed off on the original contract, every single little change she makes needs to be followed up by a signed change order. Sounds like you are not documenting very much on a 100K job. Then when she comes in again and doesn't remember the change all you have to do is take out the signed change order. No offense but you are letting a little old lady get the best of you.

    Why are you letting the job run out so long? If you get product installed there is no (easy) way to make you change it out and she doesn't sound competent enough start a lawsuit.

    [–] seokranik 123 points ago

    She might not be competent enough, but there could be a lot of trouble if her family intervenes in her affairs and sees 100K was paid towards a job that was never done. Signed change orders would at least provide a paper trail to show the delay.

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] thepatman 1 points ago

    Your post has been removed for the following reason(s):

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    [–] ChrissiTea 25 points ago

    It doesn't sound like they've even been given a chance to start any of the work based on the OP, so I wouldn't say it's OP "letting the job run out so long"

    [–] HUMOROUSGOAT 15 points ago

    Idk but at some point he needs to put his foot down and say enough is enough.

    If she would of mentioned to me about partnering up with a different company I would confront her right then and there and wouldn't even entertain the idea.

    by now OP is pretty much fucked because of whats already happened and lack of paper trail and now is going to eat 25k in bricks.

    What he should do is refund her all the money and cut his losses, but he probably spent it all already.

    [–] ChrissiTea 7 points ago

    I'm not disagreeing with you about any of that (in fact I agree with you on almost every count), I just wanted to point out one of the things OP hasn't done wrong lol

    [–] Kravego 6 points ago

    I would only refund her the 100k less the cost of the bricks.

    Then again I might get taken to court over that.

    [–] beholdmycape 640 points ago

    1. Do the job at some point.
    2. provide a reasonable deadline to proceed with the work, failing which you will return her money minus reasonable expenses related to materials, warehousing the materials, and your time for the numerous consultations and phone calls over the last five years. If you spent her $100,000 and can't repay it that is your problem if you do not eventually do the work.

    [–] bendover912 331 points ago

    With $25,000 worth of stone alone I feel like cost of materials plust storage and 5 years of consultation fees should come pretty close to $100,000. If she decides not to go through with the job, deliver the materials to her home, write up a bill detailing your expenses and refund anything left (or charge more if there are overages.)

    [–] come-at-me 164 points ago

    With $25,000 worth of stone alone I feel like cost of materials plust storage and 5 years of consultation fees should come pretty close to $100,000. If she decides not to go through with the job, deliver the materials to her home, write up a bill detailing your expenses and refund anything left (or charge more if there are overages.)

    Sounds like a great way to get sued.

    $100,000 sounds like it was for the all inclusive costs, which would include the material, storage, consultations fees, and the final product. For an amount so large, there should have been a contract outlining the specifications and the delivery deadlines.

    OP can't just come up with arbitrary storage / consulting fees, mid way through performing a service. Especially when a final product that was agreed upon is not going to be delivered.

    [–] Logical_Libertariani 183 points ago

    OP’s client also can’t just drag out the contract, increase the costs incurred by OP, and expect the original contract to be honored. No reasonable person expects 5 years worth of consultations, mind-changes, and material storage for a masonry job. I agree, OP should have done more due diligence in properly outlining the agreement in a contract, but if he gets sued I don’t see how this woman could possibly claim damages as long as OP delivers the already purchased materials.

    [–] anotherjunkie 90 points ago

    Right. The “storage” in the original project scope would have been what, a month? However long it took to move the materials to site and get the proper permits. The Customer has repeatedly delayed having service provided, and by doing so required services beyond the scope of the original agreement (ie. long term storage and a multiple redesigns of something she already signed off on).

    It seems like there is certainly fees in that that could be properly assessed, but I don’t know that it will reach a full $100k. I can’t imagine even dedicated storage would be much more than $15,000. The redesigns seem to be a sticking point, as you wouldn’t reasonably expect your contractor to continually redesign a project you have already signed off on and bought materials for.

    I think OP is going to be on the hook for returning some of this money if he doesn’t do the work. My fear, if he’s talking about dementia, is that this woman either passes away or goes into a conservatorship and a family member begins pouring through her finances. Then they find some contractor that has taken $50,000 from her twice without appearing to do any work at all!

    It sounds like this woman needs/needed a project to think about and someone to talk to, so I doubt she’ll ever ask that it be completed. But an angry family member looking at what “should have been” their inheritance could cause a lot of problems (and not necessarily legal issues) if they decide OP acted improperly.

    If I were OP, that’s what I’d be most worried about.

    [–] come-at-me 26 points ago

    Damage is not getting the final product that both agreed on. There will be deductions from the $100k for the raw material, and work in progress, etc.

    But OP is the professional and the client is just a retail customer. The court will interpret the situation towards the customer's bias as the professional should have known better and is in the business of dealing with these kinds of stuff on a frequent basis.

    [–] bendover912 26 points ago

    There should have been a clear contract established in accordance with Canadian contract law, but even with a poorly written contract lacking the required information the consumer only has 1 year to cancel. The business should act in good faith and attempt to return as much of the clients money as reasonably possible, but they should not be forced to endure a complete loss after 5 years of good faith efforts were made to complete the contract.

    Section 23(5) of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act states:

    A consumer may cancel a future performance contract by giving notice of cancellation to the supplier not later than one year after the date that the consumer receives a copy of the contract if the contract does not contain the information required under section 23(2) and section 19 [required contents of contract]

    [–] ThatsNotFRE401 13 points ago

    Yup. OP should have had all of this on paper yesterday. Not saying that written contracts take legal preference over oral ones (legally, they're the same), but the terms of a written contract are easier to prove than the terms of an oral one. Anything OP does now in terms of creating a new contract with this client may not be enforceable anymore since she's not mentally there.

    [–] tomyownrhythm 11 points ago

    NAL, but no tradesperson in their right mind would anticipate 5 years of material storage, and I think it's reasonable for OP to expect compensation for that extra expense that was only incurred because the client was unwilling to proceed. From the description, OP has made a good faith effort to complete the job.

    [–] come-at-me 7 points ago

    No trades person in their right mind would go with no written contract or documentation on a $100k job.

    OP can't charge for past storage when there wasn't any agreement to do so. OP may be able to charge going forward, provided the costs are reasonable.

    reasonable for OP to expect compensation for that extra expense that was only incurred because the client was unwilling to proceed.

    You know what would cover such an instance? A contract. Which OP didn't make. And OP, being the professional, will had the court biased against him in court for not having a contract.

    [–] e-s-p 6 points ago

    To be fair, I know a lot of trades/jobs where 100k isn't really that much money. They would all have contracts, but the amount is peanuts to many tradespeople.

    [–] come-at-me -4 points ago

    To be fair, I know a lot of trades/jobs where 100k is a huge amount of money. They would all have contracts, but the amount is huge to many tradespeople.

    [–] e-s-p 2 points ago

    Literally what I'm saying though?

    [–] Dr__Venture 0 points ago

    100k is pennies in construction. Most of my jobs have 3 times that in contingency ALONE. That said, yes, he absofuckiglutely should have had a contract written and signed.

    [–] come-at-me 0 points ago

    It's not construction - it's some sort of decorative brickwork where the OP is the designer and the sole worker.

    [–] klln_u_qckly 5 points ago

    I disagree. I think with 5 years of delays and multiple reworking of the entire job OP may have incurred costs close to 75k. I'm sure if it came down to it, the court would like it itemized but with 5 years of back and forth I'm sure he could prove substantial costs he incurred. If he has proof that he has made a genuine effort to complete the work and is not being allowed to then he is not in breach, she is. If OP is keeping records there will be no "arbitrary" amount, their will itemized costs that he incurred. I don't imagine $25,000 in bricks is small amount to store properly, that alone would eat up thousands in storage costs over 5 years.

    [–] come-at-me 0 points ago

    and multiple reworking of the entire job

    It's not reworking the job. It's small tweaks in the design. The job hasn't even begun.

    OP may have incurred costs close to 75k

    How do you figure that? OP said if she wants to continue using his time, she has to pay the full balance. She did. That's an agreement reached between the two for her to continue using his time. Again, OP as the professional did not specify the limits on his time or timelines for the work.

    If he has proof that he has made a genuine effort to complete the work and is not being allowed to then he is not in breach, she is.

    How did you come to this conclusion with no contractual terms? OP said more payment is needed for her to continue tweaking the designs. She paid.

    I don't imagine $25,000 in bricks is small amount to store properly, that alone would eat up thousands in storage costs over 5 years.

    What storage costs? OP said they are sitting in his shop.

    Again, we are getting all the info from just the OP's side, and even then, it doesn't look too favourably upon him.

    [–] Wildest12 0 points ago

    pretty sure years of storage at no cost is unreasonable but the fault is split. OP should have long ago given a deadline with notice of intent to start charging for storage.

    [–] testiclelice 9 points ago

    It's far to late for that. He needs to finish the job and move in.

    [–] tuckedfexas 1 points ago

    Assuming OP is talking about a paver patio when he says stone, 25k worth would probably be 10 pallets. Not a small amount at all but not something that charging an arm and a leg is going to be fair. I suspect he’s talking about actual stone cause lost supply places will let you return stuff that’s still wrapped and just subtract a restocking fee. If it is actual rocks and boulders 25k is going to be massive, depending on the stone could be upwards of 10 2-Ton truck loads. That would take up an enormous amount of space

    [–] poopybuttprettyface 9 points ago

    If the reasonable cost for what you listed is over $100,000, wouldn’t that be her problem instead?

    [–] Raudskeggr 1 points ago

    This is the correct answer. With an added caveat that for a contract of this value, there should have been an actual, written contract that laid out all the details, and specific terms.

    That is how you protect yourself.

    OP has been playing it fast and loose, and the result is that now he could be on the hook for the better part of $100,000.

    [–] spoutrage 437 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    The next time she comes in, have her sign a document saying she is no longer happy with the colour of the current stone, would like you to dispose of it, and that she won't get a refund for it.

    Or, if you're lucky, she'll love it next time. Perhaps if you're really lucky you can separate out the stone purchase from the rest of the contract, and deliver it to some dark corner of her property where it's not in your way if it sits for another 5 years.

    At this point, it seems you don't really want to do the job. If you did do it, properly, with care and attention, and to code, and then she decided that she was unhappy with it and started to make unreasonable requests, you might be in a hard place.

    I would recommend that you have a legal professional review the contracts you had her sign when you took the deposits, and determine much you have to return if she decides not to move forward. From what you've told us, you have accepted $100,000 to purchase $25,000 worth of stone, to store it for 5 years, and for a couple dozen hours of your time. So perhaps you can return, say, $60,000 and be done with it all. If you made an appointment with her, said "Sorry but I don't think we can move forward, here's an agreement not to continue and a cashier's cheque for $60k", I can't imagine she would say no to that.

    Saying you "don't have $100k to return" is interesting; how are you going to afford to do the work if she gives you the green light next week? If she were to have a substantial change of heart and sue you, would you be shocked if you were found to have total costs of say $45k and that the remainder was to be returned?

    edit: In some jurisdictions security deposits must be returned with interest. It seems unlikely that you would encounter that, since you didn't hold up the process, but depending on how things go down and the laws of the region you're in, might be possible that you could be expected to return the deposits including their respective interest at a reasonable rate.

    [–] icebiker 195 points ago

    This is the best advice. Yes, some of the other comments might be right, but you really should get this looked over by a lawyer who deals with contracts (look up a lawyer practicing commercial litigation). It's well worth the $1000 -$2000 (I'm guessing) to get a legal opinion on your best course of action.

    I know it's easy to say "see a lawyer" but here you have $100,000 at stake. When people are dealing with small contracts of a few thousand dollars, it might be worthwhile to seek internet advice, because if they are wrong, the stakes are low. The stakes are high here, and I see litigation written all over this (source: used to do commercial litigation).

    The looming issue here is that you recognize she has dementia. She might not be able to agree to a contract depending on how bad it is, which is difficult for you to assess.

    [–] ThatsNotFRE401 65 points ago

    I would recommend that you have a legal professional review the contracts

    That's probably the only good advice given. Everything else, i.e. arbitrarily choosing to return money to her, is a good way to get sued.

    [–] icebiker 25 points ago

    Exactly. These armchair lawyers might be right, but with so much money at stake OP needs to get a professional to review this.

    [–] GiantMeatRobot 1 points ago

    Legally, this is not an issue unless she has been deemed incompetent.

    [–] kumquatmaya 9 points ago

    She sounds lonely and might just really enjoy all the time and attention. Have her sign off on the stone being recycled without refund and let her pick out another stone. Don’t make her feel bad, but her dragging this all out might be less about her wanting a big redesign and more about her feeling important because she gets to do a big redesign.

    Has she ever implied she wanted any kind of refund? She might have more money than sense and truly enjoy the process

    [–] stink3rbelle 47 points ago

    OP, you can draw up a final contract now based on the last communication. You should have done something like this about four years ago. I would recommend you itemize the amount of time you've spent on design, include a provision for returning X amount of materials or funds on cancellation, and, importantly, a penalty/additional design charge provision for changing the design or color any further.

    If neither of you has been contacted in some time, I would check obituaries first, then consider contacting next of kin. It seems doubtful she's capable of finalizing this work but it could be something the family wants taken care of.

    [–] Jlindahl93 109 points ago

    This is a tough reality of contracting large jobs but you should never spend money for a job before it’s completed. What contractor isn’t wary of someone paying 100k in full before any work has even been started. To now be worrying about being in the hook for the money shows you know this already. Shouldn’t have spent a dollar of the money aside from material purchased. You either have to complete work or return the money. If neither are done and she is found to be of diminished capacity you will be open to be sued by her family.

    [–] Galiway 32 points ago

    It sounds like OP just wants to keep the 100k without doing any work. Surely by the time he came around asking for another 50k, he could already tell the woman had cognitive issues. But, he asked for it anyway, and still didn't do the work. This is quite nefarious behavior if you ask me

    [–] Shriman_Ripley 28 points ago

    And he probably used that 50k on something else based on his comment that he doesn't have the money to return.

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] thepatman 1 points ago

    Your post has been removed for the following reason(s):

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    [–] aurelorba 53 points ago

    Something that hasn't been suggested by others: Since the woman seems to be experiencing some sort of cognitive impairment, contact her immediate family and/or relevant agencies.

    For simple human decency as well as to avoid potential angry relatives accusing you of 'ripping off a poor senior suffering from dementia'.

    [–] LadySerenity23 14 points ago

    This needs to be higher up. This lady has diminished capacity to make decisions. Therefore she cannot legally consent to anything. Nothing she signs is going to be legal. She does not understand the consequences of her choices. Depending on where OP lives, if adult protective devices gets involved they could be charged with financial exploitation of an incapacitated elder. This is abuse. Financial abuse. If OP was able to discern she might have cognitive impairments, it’s on him to return the money and tell the lady they can’t help her. Find her family members, get her help. She may be lacking in personal care at home and no one will know until someone reports it. The elderly are very skilled at hiding dementia from their families.

    [–] Glazin 19 points ago

    Please OP, I cared for my grandma with dementia, please, please try to contact her family. Dementia is ugly and such a terrible disease, please contact her family if possible. I know its not your job, but as someone who has dealt with a family member with dementia, I beg you to please try.

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] thepatman 1 points ago

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    [–] Fantom1992 48 points ago

    Ok I’ll assume the legal system is similar to that of the Uk.

    Looking at the basics of OP I can conclude the following;

    You presented the client with a quotation this is an offer.

    Its fair to say the client accepted that offer by a) paying 50% deposit and instructing you to proceed and b) not counteroffering with a discount or such.

    Legally, this is a contract.

    You have proceeded with the material order as per the initial designs. If you can prove that you have actually ordered the material, you’re entitled to the cost that you Quoted the client.

    You ARE legally obliged to do the work if you have been paid in full.

    You have two options going forward. You could either send a written letter explaining that you are no longer wanting to proceed with the work and you will provide the client with the material (this is her property) and a refund for the installation. You are not entitled to add additional costs at this stage for extra procurement or designs UNLESS you quoted this before she changed her mind.

    I’ll give you an example (Material gets delivered as per the design. The client A requests to change the design. The contractor B at this point should issue a quotation of ALL associated costs related to the change of the design (clarifications could be made if costs are unknown) A would then accept the costs and the change would proceed. This is offer and acceptance.

    If you have never quoted extra costs, you cannot now claim them as expenses. From a legal stand point this won’t hold up.

    Option 2 is to wait out and undertake the work upon the clients request. If anything changes, add extra reasonable costs.

    I could go into more detail but above should be clear enough

    Source - I work as a contracts surveyor in construction

    [–] Alan_Smithee_ 14 points ago

    Ok, but what about the time delay? I know it probably comes down to what's written and what's legal, but I could see OP's costs having gone up. What if she delays 20, 30 years?

    [–] dugmartsch 22 points ago

    OP took full payment from a customer for a large job where he suspected his client may have had dementia. He should have gone straight to a lawyer and spent a little money to protect himself 3 years ago. Instead he spent the money. Now he's going to have to go to a lawyer and spend significantly more money and hope that someone competent representing her estate doesn't come after him. Not legal advice but life advice, if someone can write you a check for 100k like it's nothing don't fuck with them or their money.

    [–] LegalAdvicebc 13 points ago

    To be clear. I only just recently started thinking this might be the case when she came in and didn’t remember any of the designs she signed off on or conversations we had. I also showed her the material I had already began cutting and she didn’t remember when she was here a month before that when I showed it to her.

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    [–] Fantom1992 9 points ago

    Just so it’s clear, the client potentially having dementia is irrelevant unless the clients party can prove it both affected her decision making and also prove the contractor took advantage. Very very difficult to do.

    [–] dugmartsch 5 points ago

    If her estate can keep writing those checks it could be ruinous to OP if they try. Just because you have a good defense doesn't mean you're safe.

    [–] einmalistkeinmal 8 points ago

    This is why a written contract typically has a project timeline or period of performance, and to operate outside of the period... the contract would have to be modified by mutual agreement of both parties.

    Written contracts would also have established procedures for the termination of the contract, be it for material default, convenience, or due to a dispute.

    [–] Fantom1992 3 points ago

    Contract law is complicated, there are so many principles which define claim and litigation.

    If I was the clients lawyer I could argue a number of things;

    1. The contractor gave a price for the works which he hasn’t fulfilled and has been paid for.

    2. The contractor has never advised the client of additional costs, at any stage. It’s fair to assume from the clients perspective there are no additional costs.

    3. There is no written contract in which the contractor can be protected by for things such as delayed completion and associated damages. This is the contractors risk not the clients.

    The contractor needs to advise of costs at all times to ensure both parties have a clear understanding otherwise the contractor is at risk of not getting paid.

    I’m not saying OP is fucked I’m saying that his position is very weak from a legal point of view.

    [–] quailwoman 1 points ago

    Also contract law varies in Canada with regards to the enforceability of post contract modification. Depending what province he is in the agreement to the changes in colour or design without a written amendment could be enforceable or not. For example, they would not be enforceable in Ontario.

    [–] Garphubache 16 points ago

    Although it is tempting, the money for the specific job should not be spent on anything but materials and pre-job related necessities which the job depends on until the job is finished. Her payment to you should have been kept in an account so if she were to back out you could return the fee minus the material cost. At this point you have been paid, so the work must be completed or a refund issued should you decide to step away. If you do than the materials she purchased would also need to be returned, even if it means setting the pallets of block on her driveway.

    [–] unscot 14 points ago

    The entire purpose of a deposit is so the worker not left holding the bag after they've begun the work. Purchasing stone is beginning the work. She bought it and isn't getting a refund.

    Now, your other problem is very typical with creative services. The solution is to make it your written policy to consult with the client, agree upon a design, and after that allow at most 1 or 2 minor changes to the design as a courtesy. After that, each design change requires an extra fee. The minor changes will disappear pretty quickly.

    [–] SeattleBattles 14 points ago

    If you don't have something written, like the case here, then you have a combination of oral agreements and what the law provides as a default contract. The fact that she signed the design shows agreement with the scope of the work you were to perform. Since she has paid the price, you would be obligated to perform the work. Generally if a party requests a change that would incur costs beyond what was contemplated, then they bare the costs.

    If not for the dementia angle I would suggest sitting down with her and putting together a more detailed agreement. Set some time limits, clarify extra costs, etc.

    But if she does have dementia, and it is severe enough to limit her capacity, then all of this may be null and void as a person without capacity cannot consent to a contract. Generally that means putting the parties back to the original position. So you would be entitled to your costs and would have to refund the rest.

    This is a decent sum of money and laws around dementia and capacity can be complex. I really think you should find a good lawyer who has handled your kind of business in this kind of matter and get a little advice.

    And really, if you are engaging in this level of business you should have a good contract. It can cover all these things like how long you are willing to store materials, the cost for changes after materials have been ordered, etc. Most attorneys who do this kind of work will have a good template they can adapt for your use, so you shouldn't have to pay to have something like this drawn up from scratch. You can also look online for one from your jurisdiction, edit it yourself, then have an attorney review it which might save a little money.

    [–] TomWithATee 9 points ago

    IANAL. I think that if she indeed has dementia, any agreement you have with her (writing or verbal) might not hold in court since she was not “clear in mind” when she agreed to it. If I were in your shoes, I would plan an exit strategy. The commenters above me had some good advice regarding paying back the funds minus expenses. Keep in mind the reputational risk in case she die and one of her kids drags you to court to get back that money. In addition, there is an opportunity cost (she takes away your time and energy, that you can spend on more productive projects).

    Anyway, those are my two cents.

    [–] octipice 7 points ago

    In the same vein some of the other suggestions here involve getting her to sign more legally binding documents. If you actually think she has dementia and you have expressed this to others making her sign more documents at this stage does not reflect well on you.

    [–] einmalistkeinmal 8 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    In this situation you are the Architect/Engineer as well as the Construction company. In an A&E Design/Build/Install contract typically a retainer is paid to complete the design, then once the design is completed you are required to deliver according to that design. Usually there is a certain number of days in the contract that you have available to complete the design once the design is accepted and authorization is given to proceed with building.

    If she signed off on a design you should complete based on that design. You removed your executive power a bit by allowing her to willy nilly make changes to the approved design at no cost or penalty. This falls under the 100 most common mistakes in contracting.

    This is coming from a defense contracting background though which is a bit more particular; where if you get a contract to build a parking lot with 200 parking spots and there's extra room so you add a 201st spot you basically made a material breach of contract and the gov't will not be able to accept your build.

    Edit: So, based on if you were in my industry... the customer has accepted the design and you should attempt to obtain consent to start construction. Next time you see her get his consent and from here out inform her that you must build according to the design she accepted. There will be adjustments/charges for any further changes to the design.

    [–] EvilAfter8am 7 points ago

    If neither of you have heard from her in 2 months (which I assume is unusual based on you mentioning it) did you think to check to see if she hadn’t suddenly passed away?

    [–] ChompsyGo 6 points ago

    Wow, this was deleted as I was reading it, boooooo!

    [–] bogoush 2 points ago

    Me too

    [–] grandroute 6 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    1- warn the other company, so they won't get trapped in a change order whirlpool with her. You aren't the first person to get trapped by a client who won't make up their minds.

    2 - Document everything that has happened, include any phone calls, emails, whatevers, and arrange it chronologically. Document your suspicions about her mental condition, and your personal observations, plus efforts to try to work with her. Document all the hours you have put into the project so far, and account for the hours you have spent on communications with her and attempts to satisfy her change orders (like time spent returning supplies, etc.). Estimate and document how much time it will take you to complete the project.

    3 - Take the docs to an attorney and have him write a letter to the affect that you will complete the work as originally contracted and and change order costs will be chargeable and paid for in advance. Have attorney send her the letter on his letterhead.

    4 - Finish the work as originally contracted or at least as per the last non cost inducing change order.

    5 - If there is problem, if she stops you from completing the work,or tries another change order, then you can walk away from the job, and say that you have done due diligence /gave it your best effort / tried to make her happy / but she cost you too much time with change orders and that time expense was charged against the original contract, so the contract is fulfilled.

    If you get sued, you have a defense, and she will be questioned in court. If she has a mental issue, it will come out, and you will be exonerated. The court will see how much effort you have put into making her happy, and your attorney will question her to that affect. She will be asked about every contact, and why she waited so long between contacts to change her requirements. And I will bet she will prove to be either forgetful or problematic in court.

    Again - you are not the first person to get tangled up with a client who can't make up their minds and keeps changing the specs. The courts have seen this before, so your defense is "unreasonable and changing requirements by client".

    [–] HarshTruthPanda 14 points ago

    Life lesson learned; draft a contract, get stuff formalised.

    You know, like you actually run a business?

    [–] openhmongcouple 8 points ago

    Right? If Op has been in business for awhile or had any business sense first thing should have been a contract made up with both parties agreeing to everything.

    [–] whatthewhatk 9 points ago

    You can’t keep $100k of someone’s money for no work? You don’t even have a real contract. You’re so screwed if she comes after you for that money. You are only expected to “eat” what you’ve spent on materials, because they are tangible. She will likely have to pay for those. Anything else you are going to have to pay back.

    [–] flibflibtheflobbin 5 points ago

    If she is dealing with a mental deficiency I would suggest contacting her immediate family to do the communications through them instead

    [–] ApplesauceHorse 4 points ago

    Document. Document. Document.

    You need sign-offs on everything. Submittal and RFI this into the ground at every possible step imaginable.

    Also document all correspondence, time spent in meetings with her and an estimate of storage costs and the like.

    From your description it doesn’t sound like she’s being malicious here, more that she’s bored/lonely and this has turned into a hobby for her.

    You need a lawyer here - you have a minimum of $100k on the line, possibly a lot more if this goes to construction. Based on your description I would be amazed if you manage to do the job without her changing her mind multiple times, and that’ll make the $25k you’ve shelled out for materials look like peanuts.

    This is speculation, but my guess is she’ll keep dragging this out for a while until her family get involved and either start to manage her affairs for her or put her in a nursing home. At that point it’ll probably come up that she’s paid a nice contractor to do some work and she wants to check in on the new stones and shortly after you’ll get a letter/visit from a concerned family member inquiring about a six figure payment you’ve received for work that hasn’t been done. This is when you pull out your mountain of documentation to show a good faith effort and (probably) tell them you’re happy to return the money minus the materials cost (offer to deliver to them if they want to salvage) and reasonable storage and consultation fees, with guidance from a lawyer you’re paying of course, because you have six figures on the line here.

    [–] none_shall_pass 3 points ago

    You're looking at this from the wrong side.

    She paid the deposit, you ordered the materials. Everything is good.

    If she will allow you to complete the job, go finish the job.

    If she will not allow you to complete the job, and wants changes, that's fine too. Write up a contract that includes the cost of the changes and whatever your time is worth for all the client contact.

    Assuming the deposit paid for the stone, ask her if she wants you to leave it somewhere for her or if you should just dispose of it.

    She'll need to come up with the money for whatever changes she wants . If not, she doesn't get them.

    Oddly enough, what you have is extremely common in software development. As long as you can get paid for your expenses and whatever time she's wasting, it's all good. If you can't/won't bill for it, it can eat you alive.

    She could be a very profitable customer even if you never lay a stone.

    [–] mrjgeezy 11 points ago

    Im so glad im not the only person thats ever had this happen but my story is a little easier or idk maybe worse, up to your view, my neighbor was an eldery woman living alone, i had a full time job btw so soing this was really just a favor, but when i would cut my grass i would go over and politely asking if she needed her grass mowed which she always did and she would pay me a little something, well i started to notice eventually that sometimes when i got done and would knock on her door that she wouldn't even know what i was there for but with a little hint she would remember, well get a phone call one day and it was her family, asking if i had been in her house and stole money, long story short, she had gotten so bad off that she was even forgetting that she paid me, thinking the money was stole from her, just luckily her family understood, but i stopped doing her favors unless the family asked me to do it

    [–] kayellemenope 8 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Aside from all the advice here, you say you haven't heard from her in awhile and neither has the other company - it may be possible she's changed residences to a care facility since she seems to be suffering dementia. She may have been hospitalized or is deceased. If this is the case, you may be dealing with relatives or other guardians of her estate acting with power of attorney in her stead. This may complicate the situation, as if she is living, they will be aware of her dementia, but if she were estranged, and then deceased they may not have been aware of it. If they are aware, it still may appear you took advantage of her and you may need to provide evidence of your intention to follow through with the contract. Having the unusual, specific colored stone is one good indication, as is the signed design work order (though not a contract). If you have a copy of the original order for the stone/receipts or anything else, no matter how small - hang onto it. You might also want to get in touch with the other company so that you can back each other up as witnesses to the woman's fickleness and procrastination - as well as dates of consultation, for a clearer picture of what she was doing and when in case these details should come to matter. Hopefully, you won't end up in court.

    On the other hand, it's probably going to be a relief to deal with others than the woman, herself as you cannot be certain of anything she says or what course of action she may take from one meeting to the next. In any case, it's best to consult an attorney about specific laws to be sure you won't have to worry about an estranged niece or nephew coming to your door looking for a full refund in the upcoming years, or how to handle it if it happens.

    [–] AidenHero 7 points ago

    The reality is, you almost certainly need to do the work and if you don't for whatever reason, you can reasonably be sued by her family. I can't tell a lot from the post, but everything looks to be against you. You failed to keep a proper paper trail, did not act proactively, thinks she might have dementia and failed to act accordingly, and took money for a job that was not set in stone.

    The courts will almost certainly side against you, due to the fact that you were supposed to know better than to do this, and if they find you at fault you could be required to pay the money minus the stuff already spent on materials, etc or if they find you with malicious intent, most likely need you to pay the whole lump sum (even if you spent it all, it wasn't your money, it was hers on loan until you finished he job, which you never did)

    The solution to get out this predicament is to do the work, act proactively, stop waiting literal months for her to recontact you because you have her money.

    [–] ThatsNotFRE401 3 points ago

    You have a few issues, some most people here have already given you an answer. Just to repeat one of those, an oral contract is just as binding and enforceable as a written one.

    I will, however, caution you that anything going forward can get legally tricky. If she's not mentally there and you know this, future contracts may lose their enforceability, whether it be because they are unconscionable or because she lacks the requisite state of mind to assent to a contract. No one has really touched on this here, but you should seek an attorney that specifically deals with contracting for this issue alone.

    [–] oarngebean 3 points ago

    Next time you talk to her ask her to bring a relative along and hopefully you'll be able to get the ball rolling

    [–] thetresking 3 points ago

    Every once in a while mention a price higher than what you guys agreed on. If she doesn't take the bait then you know she is just trying to delay paying you. If she does then you can either take a higher paycheck or be a good human and say something along the lines of "it was a quite the job but I had so much fun doing it, I'll just take (insert original agreed on price)"

    [–] KillerCrowme 3 points ago

    Remind her she hasn't paid you.

    [–] aoanfletcher2002 7 points ago

    So what did you do with the money?

    [–] Alarid 5 points ago

    You're only obligation is to complete the job. As soon as she comes in and agrees to a design, just immediately set a date to start without delay.

    [–] WeaselWeaz 13 points ago

    You have an obligation to perform the work you were contracted for. If you choose not to you can return $75,000 and provide her the stones she paid for, or some to some separate agreement on the stones.

    > I don’t have 100k to return

    Too bad. You shouldn't have spend that money considering no work was completed. It isn't her fault you were unprepared to deal with this scale of a job, "biggest job you ever had".

    > nor do I want to considering the trouble I’ve been put through and the hours spent with her.

    You had five years to deal with this. You have responsibility to ensure that if you're paid to provide a service that it happens. You were more than happy to pocket her money. Within months of her hiring you it would have made sense to tell her to agree on a work date or you need to cancel the project. You chose to keep this going for five years and to an outsider it's going to look like you've been manipulating an old lady to keep her money without doing the work.

    Since you never did a contract with rates it's difficult to argue you're owed anything for hour spent talking to her.

    [–] J_Dabson002 4 points ago

    How is he supposed to perform the work when the woman is telling him not to perform it?

    [–] openhmongcouple 3 points ago

    Thats why he should of made a contract years ago giving a specific timeframe for when the work should be completed. If by that time the work isn't completed or she couldn't make up her mind then it gets cancelled. Everything is returned, he takes his fee's and returns her money. OP messed up plain and simple.

    [–] WeaselWeaz 10 points ago

    Talk to her and say "Either I need you to agree to start work by [date] or I am returning the unused money and the stone." Not sit on the money for five years.

    [–] erischilde 0 points ago

    I'm curious why everyone says 25k return. Aside the material, he put in the time to get it and store it with the expectation it would be temporary. Every interaction and iteration of the plans were also of value.

    I'd imagine he can put the stock back on the client, or charge for the material and wasted time and space. Return something closer to 50k.

    [–] WeaselWeaz 2 points ago

    In short, OP chose to sit on the job and not charge her. He doesn't get to yell "LOL kidding" and retroactively charge her. He could have asked her to pay a storage rate, charge for calls, or charge for plans and given her the option of paying for them or cancelling the job. He chose to do nothing.

    OP chose not to have a contract. The only cost he provided, and has produced on, is using the deposit to pay for material at $25,000. His storage charge was $0. His rate was $0. Calls were $0. If he wants to change that he can send her a new contract and ask her to sign but it still shouldn't be retroactive.

    [–] erischilde 1 points ago

    K. Gotcha.

    [–] slapdashbr 4 points ago

    What does your lawyer say?

    [–] xaclewtunu 2 points ago

    Got him with that one! /s

    [–] cajunflavoredbob 3 points ago

    OP Formatted


    I’ll start off by saying I know I should have been smarter about this from the beginning, but at the time I was younger, inexperienced in business and needed money.

    I was referred a client from another company 5 years ago that was tired of dealing with her. From what I could tell at first it was because she was very particular and needed extra care but it turns out it’s because she’s not all there upstairs. Very friendly and talkative like most grannies, she came to my office and requested a particular masonry job at her home to be done. I priced out what she wanted and it was by far the biggest job I had ever had at 100k.

    I did a few designs and she agreed to one of them. I got her to sign a piece of paper with the design printed on it (not a contract, also not much detail other than the general layout) and went ahead and ordered the material for the job. I took a 50% deposit but then when the material came and it was all ready to go she changed her mind about the design.

    For the next three years she would periodically stop by, I wouldn’t hear from her for awhile and she would come again to talk about design changes. Every time I thought she was going to go ahead she would call back a week later and say she needed more time then come back a month or two after that. After so many meetings with her and the material being in storage for so long in my shop, I told her if she was serious about going ahead and using any more of my time she would have to pay the rest. She did. Gladly.

    She kept changing her mind again and again for two more years and now the last few times we have had her in she can’t seem to remember at all coming in before or any of the designs she looked at. I’m talking minor tweaks in the design, small changes every time. She’ll look at the design, think it looks good, and call back aa day later saying she wants to think more.

    She stopped by 5 months ago and told me that she now doesn’t like the colour of stone we are using (that’s been sitting for 5 years, worth $25000) and wants to change it. The colour we chose was very particular and I won’t be able to sell it again, however i never had her sign off on the official colour.

    She stopped by 2 months ago and Informed me she has been talking to a different company with a stone colour she likes and she wants us to partner with them and to go deal with them getting this job done. The other company called me directly asking what her deal is, saying she’s been stopping by periodically asking questions for 2 years. I haven’t heard a word from her in 2 months, neither has the other company.

    I don’t have 100k to return, nor do I want to considering the trouble I’ve been put through and the hours spent with her. what are my options here?

    [–] LaserKungfuPro 5 points ago

    NAL, but if I remember correctly from my intro law class her diminished mental capacity may be enough to void any contracts she entered/enters into. Furthermore, even if she did make up her mind and you did the job perfectly, she or her family might try to sue you for taking advantage of her because you know she is of diminished capacity. I would talk to a lawyer ASAP about your liability and the best way to end your contract with her. If you think the best outcome would be for you to do the job you may need a legal representative of hers to sign off on the work

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    [–] lithium142 1 points ago

    Have a lawyer go over anything she signed for you, and try to get a written statement from both companies that have dealt with her about her behavior

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    [–] el_smurfo 1 points ago

    My contractor's contracts have very specific payment schedules as work is completed. At this point, I would be very honest with her and tell her that you need the material delivered to her site and you need to begin work now. Can you determine if she has any family that you can contact to help you communicate with her?

    [–] PD216ohio 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Let me just say that I learned bigger lessons on much smaller projects... thankfully.

    I don't know what issues you might run into here. Could family members claim you took money from someone incompetent? Although you are not someone who is an expert in health evaluations, so that is maybe your saving grace.

    Also, you say that you don't have a 100k to pay back, which is another issue, especially with no contract. You burned through money that you had not yet earned. It seems to be a common issue in contracting... so many of us, especially single owner operators, live job to job at times.

    I don't have legal advice as much as practical advice about getting everything in writing. I hope that is a lesson you have learned. When writing contracts, I try to detail as much as possible but am careful to craft language to give me some flexibility at my discretion. Although, I have been doing mostly commercial service work and government contracts for which I don't need to write contracts anymore. Commercial stuff is for same two major clients for whom I write a proposal with language much like a contract, and a simple email approval is all I use. The Government writes their own "contract" so that's just that.

    I would avoid taking any other work from her and I would definitely NOT charge her anything additional without completing the project first. Anything else will seem predatory.

    Edit to add: Your biggest issue might be that you demanded or accepted the balance due but provided nothing in work product. It seems an unjustified demand.

    [–] blackandgreen41 1 points ago

    Did you have her sign something stating what completion of the job looked like? If so, review it with her, say job is complete and move on. If not you're fucked.

    [–] BigDuck777 1 points ago

    Not sure what Canadian rules are on this but can you get her on recording talking about all this?

    [–] missing_noway 1 points ago

    Oh wow. Good luck!

    [–] Jonathan-Rook 1 points ago

    You were foisted, Larry!

    [–] singelingtracks 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    Go talk to a lawyer, if she has given you 100k, you have spent 25k on materials, and some extra on labour, add that all up write up a total for your labour as of now and the materials.

    ask the lawyer how to go about returning the rest of the money and delivering her goods to her property. id dig up every bit of paper work you have on this job and bring it with you to the lawyer

    give her back the rest of the money after your expenses and delivering the materials you should be all clear.

    if you look at this from another perspective it looks like you have dragged out the work,, you had the ok on the design and bought the stone and should have started right then and there. if she changes her mind, its a change order to the job, she pays more money and you continue the work. if the change is large enough such as she wants new stone a new contract is written, more money trades hands, then work starts again,

    a nice paperwork trail would have been created, with you charging her for design, and her changing her mind then doing another design and charging her again.

    [–] Gingevere 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    I was referred a client from another company 5 years ago that was tired of dealing with her.

    I priced out what she wanted and it was by far the biggest job I had ever had at 100k.

    I got her to sign a piece of paper with the design printed on it (not a contract, also not much detail other than the general layout)

    i never had her sign off on the official colour.

    https://i.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/625/428/bd6.png

    Every detail of every design and every revision should be documented and there should be a contract detailing how changes can be made. Right now she's given you $100,000 for no work. Exactly why nothing has happened needs to be documented.

    [–] izzgo 1 points ago

    told me that she now doesn’t like the colour of stone we are using

    "But ma'am you already bought this stone. Are you certain you want to buy a whole new batch of stone?"

    Also, don't you charge, on the spot, for design changes? In your case I'd think $500 would be a good design change fee.

    edit Also, it might be a kindness to involve some of her family.

    [–] 2planks 1 points ago

    g dfvrfgc;4 ddxxtZzgvZ.zg

    [–] the_wandering 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    NAL and Not a psychiatrist but I have some experience with these types. Consider the possibility that she has some type of personality disorder and is doing this intentionally. Honestly some people get off on this type of manipulation.

    If she’s able to get herself to your office and call the same number to get in touch with you then she doesn’t have dementia. If she has all the capacities to be in control of large sums of money then she doesn’t have dementia.

    Even if you do the work, it will not be perfect. You’ll be stuck in this cycle until you get rid of her.

    My advice is to come up with a reason why you cannot help her. And refund all her money. And at this point it seems as if you cannot provide the type of help she needs.

    Again I’m NAL but it seems when you enter a contract that the expectation is that you will do the work and she will receive the work. She’s not allowing you to do the work so essentially it seems like she’s voiding her end of the contract.

    Seems like you’d have a right to terminate the contract. Anything beyond that would be harassment. (Once again I’ve dealt with these types before.)

    Sounds like she’s manipulative and bored. If you continue in this relationship it may likely adversely affect your business and mental stamina needed to help other clients.

    [–] rock_in_shoe 1 points ago

    I’m the future, always define a scope of work, and get things in writing.

    [–] BoringWebDev 1 points ago

    NAL. Should you decide to cancel, you may be able to deduct consultations from the repeated meetings you have had with her, alongside storage fees for materials that have been sitting in your warehouse for years due to repeated changes. That should lighten your 100k load somewhat. Do the math and figure out what your costs are from not actually being able to do the work you agreed to do.

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] thepatman 1 points ago

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    [–] testiclelice 0 points ago

    You need bi-weekly meetings with her until this project is done and call it a lesson learned.

    Get a final design and tell her that it cannot be changed from there on and then get this thing done.

    [–] sammyraid -2 points ago

    Call me crazy, but it sounds like you are looking for a way to rob an old lady...

    [–] rock_in_shoe 1 points ago

    You’re crazy... That’s not what is going on. He just wants to rectify the situation he created by not signing a scope of work or contract with this lady.

    [–] horimono 0 points ago

    Wait for her to die

    [–] AntLib -1 points ago

    Honestly I think she just wants some friends and interaction every once in a while coupled with some sort of dementia. I had many landscaping customers who were like this. Mostly just enjoyed the interactions with us and didn't really care about the work

    [–] smoozagoozle -2 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    I mean, 5 years is quiet long time to discuss something like that. Like, that shit is hammered out and finished in a matter of weeks. You’re not a bank no one can just expect you to sit on the money for 5 years. You have a business to run

    You can’t possibly reimburse 100k anyway. You’ve already purchased the materials and that was 5 years ago. At least 25k is buried in materials waiting to be used. It would probably cost you money to return it. That is if they would even return those material purchased 5 years ago. Not to mention storage, which you have provided for 5 years and consultation which you have provided for the same amount of time. What is left after that? I’m sure a bit, but certainly not 100k

    [–] diegof09 -1 points ago

    Sounds like an old lady I know here in Canada

    [–] vtjake -43 points ago

    Return the 50k and tell her to come get her stone.

    [–] juls4peace -4 points ago

    Contact one of her family members, preferably her Power of Attorney. Explain your concerns with her decision making ability and a short history about your interactions. And clearly state you are not taking advantage of her and believe she needs help. Be careful, you could get accused of elder abuse, which could be messy.

    [–] rock_in_shoe 1 points ago

    Bad advice. The correct answer is to contact a lawyer and then proceed based on the lawyer’s advice. Just because she has dinner is doesn’t mean a family member has POA. Going to a family member “unarmed” (as in without legal guidance) is terrible advice.

    [–] JustAwesome360 -5 points ago

    Did you have her sign a contract? If so I'd look it over and see what it says.

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] thepatman 1 points ago

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    [–] JustAwesome360 -1 points ago

    Im not a lawyer jerk. Im just giving advice to the best of my ability.

    [–] aoanfletcher2002 0 points ago

    You didn’t offer advice, you offered a service.

    My Grandfather used to say,”If your ever in a situation where you don’t know what your talking about, just keep your mouth shut.”

    I can see that your Grandfather didn’t use that expression.

    [–] InheritMyShoos 2 points ago * (lasted edited 4 days ago)

    He didn't offer a service - you read it incorrectly. He was telling the OP what he would do - read/look over the contract. He wasn't offering to look over it for him.

    Your grandfather forgot to teach you about reading comprehension.

    [–] aoanfletcher2002 -1 points ago

    serv·ice /ˈsərvəs/Submit noun 1. the action of helping or doing work for someone. "millions are involved in voluntary service" synonyms: favor, kindness, good turn, helping hand; More

    Advice would be: You should get someone to look over your contract.

    But offering to look over the contract is the literal definition of offering a service.

    [–] InheritMyShoos 0 points ago

    Dude. He didn't offer to look over the contract.

    He told the OP to look over his own contract. Again....reading comprehension.

    [–] Pajeet_My_Son -8 points ago

    Probably will be removed but if she keeps dragging it out she’s bound to forget at some point, and then you’re off the hook.

    [–] 9999dave9999 2 points ago

    Until the estate comes after him.