City real estate agent saves TMR woman’s legacy

Neglect by curator almost ruined daughter’s life
By P.A. Sévigny
www.thesuburban.com

If ever a real estate agent deserved their commission for a job well done, Montreal’s Monica Rzemian should be congratulated for having saved the legacy that TMR’s late Doctor Anna K. Doellinger left to Anna Ursyn-Niemcevicz—her daughter as well as her only child.

“I just did my job,” said Rzemian. “Once the place was cleaned up, it didn’t take long before we got a number of serious offers and we picked the best one.”

While it sounds like nothing more than your average real estate deal, Rzemian’s efforts once again demonstrated what a good real estate agent can do to help their clients get a fair price for their property.

To be fair, and following years of neglect while Ursyn-Niemcevicz took care of her old, sick mother, the house did need some immediate attention but, following an unfortunate conflict with a local social worker and assorted CLSC bureaucrats, her daughter’s life took an immediate turn for the worse after a Superior Court decision ordered Quebec’s Public Curator to take charge of Doctor Doellinger’s welfare as well as her assets.

“We (Ursyn-Niemcevicz and her boyfriend) were sleeping when there was a knock on the door, and all of the sudden, the police came into the house with some people and that’s when they took away my mother,” said Ursyn-Niemcevicz. “She was crying and she told them that she didn’t want to go but they took her away and three months later, she was dead.”

As the curator also took over Dr. Doellinger’s assets, Ursyn-Niemcevicz no longer had the means to pay all the household bills. Within days, she was destitute, but as the curator was in charge of her mother’s assets, she still expected that they would pay for the home’s heating oil. Unfortunately, the curator’s mangers neglected to pay the bill and it wasn’t long before the home’s furnace stopped working.

“It’s just another example of how the Public Curator fails to adequately protect these people,” said Montreal’s Ura Greenbaum. Greenbaum is the director of the Montreal Association for the Defense of People and Property under the Public Curatorship (ADPPPC). He believes that the curator is responsible for much of the damage that occurred when the pipes froze in Dr. Doellinger’s house.

“It was up to them to pay for the heating oil and they didn’t do it,” said Greenbaum. “The judge declared them to be responsible for Dr. Doellinger and that means they were also responsible for her assets.” 

During an extensive telephone conversation, Rzemian told The Suburban about what happened when she took on the contract to sell the house for her destitute client.
After Ursyn-Niemcevicz started cleaning out the house, it quickly began to regain its original function and credible style. Compared to what originally seemed to be some critical water damage in the basement, it turned out to be little more than a broken water valve that was quickly repaired.
Once the sodden carpets were raised, the old house began to show off its good bones. Contrary to earlier reports about a mushroom infestation and rotted beams, Rzemian said the building’s floors were all in good shape and that all of the home’s basic structure was sound and as good as it was when the home was first built.

“Of course, it’s going to need some cosmetic work (including a new kitchen and a new bathroom) but it’s nothing compared to what people used to say about the property.”

Following what could have been little more than yet another sad story about a spoiled legacy that was the result of the public curator’s overt negligence, Rzemian’s diligent attention to some basic real estate details managed to save the doctor’s legacy as well as any chance her daughter may have to rebuild her life following what turned out to be the inevitable decline and death of her mother.

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