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It is nearly seven years since Henry passed. To recap, our family friends Henry and Grace were a couple who led a relatively charmed life. They were deeply in love, working together in an extremely successful business for over 40 years, with no thoughts of the future. Henry was 20 years older than Grace and handled all of their financial affairs. He, unfortunately, did not have any plans in place for a designated surrogate in case Grace was unable to handle her own affairs at any time after his passing. That, of course, is where the story goes (as they say) south.

I had not seen Grace in about six months when she entered the room where a party was being held. The guests included many of her friends. She looked gaunt and somewhat confused and was with a younger man who was guiding her through the room to where they sat down together. He made sure he was never far out of earshot as she talked with her friends and, frankly, something did not seem quite right to me. We found out in relatively quick succession certain facts that increased my unease. He had met her at her local club, sidled over to her and chatted her up. They had remained inseparable for these past six months.

Over the next few weeks, I began hearing from concerned friends who told me about conversations they were having with her almost daily that would change with each telling. Alternately, she was madly in love or she was afraid for her life; either knew she had married him or didn’t, depending on the conversation. She would call the police to kick him out of her home, but by the time they would come to her door, she would tell them that she didn’t know why they were there and demand they leave.

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