"Anthoula P. Russo"
Hello, my name is Anthoula P. Russo and I have been living in America for nearly 40 years. In that time period I have been traveling back and forth to Greece to visit family and friends at least once a year. My husband fell in love with Greece and we eventually plan on retiring to my home town of Katerini , Thessaloniki area. We have done some legal items in Greece like registering our marriage and the births of our children with the Greek State which took nearly 2 years to accomplish. In that same time period we also purchased a piece of land to build our retirement home and started paying our Greek taxes. My husband and I thought we were doing really good , but nothing could prepare us for the legal nightmare that was to come...
Last year my mother at the age of 75 was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. My family in Greece could not afford to take care of her due to the financial crisis so I needed to take care of my mother and her finances. Luckily , some time earlier my mother gave me a “power of attorney” to help her with some bill payments and some land transactions. I immediately traveled to Greece to assume my mother’s affairs and find her a nursing home to spend the rest of her days.
I arrived in Greece where finding a nursing home was a priority and pretty much straight forward and easy to accomplish. Now that my mother was safe and secure I turned my attention to her finances. Alzheimer’s disease is an accumulative disease. People are not healthy one day and sick the next. It turns out that my mother had been sick and showing signs of the disease for the last 5 years. My mother’s finances were a complete mess. My mother had overdue bills , land and income taxes were not paid , and her bank accounts were compromised. Many people took advantage of her disease. They took out loans in my mother’s name or had her co-sign loans at various banks which basically left flat broke and in massive debt. My family tried to help but few were willing to get involved or couldn’t help and even the advice they provided , 90% was ineffective. Greek laws have changed so rapidly and enganging the Greek government is a never ending day waiting in Greek offices for people to provide a stamp or signature. I needed to find a good lawyer or someone who knew how the system worked to help me navigate my mother’s affairs. I went to a ton of lawyers in Greece but few were willing to take on my mother’s affairs or were extremely expensive. Then one day my uncle introduced me to a lawyer named Mr Konstantinos Dimopoulos Esq. and he was a “God” send.
Mr. Dimopoulos was educated in England and speaks fluent Greek , German and English. He was able to create a plan of action and explain it to my husband and me in both our native languages. Mr. Dimopoulos has worked so hard to ensure my mother’s affairs are taken care of and most importantly explained each and every process we had to go through to regain control of my mother’s estate. My husband and me have so much confidence in his ability we have asked him to help us prepare for our retirement to Greece.
I have gone through many sleepless nights and anxiety filled days throughout the course of these legal procedures with my mother. After sharing these experiences with my own local Greek community I have found that I was not alone. Many Greek-Americans do not know where to start or do not know the Greek laws. While I endorse Mr. Dimopoulos I understand many will be apprehensive to give him a call. I truly do not want anyone to have to travel down the same road I did. If anyone needs help with problems in Greece , please give Mr Dimopoulos a call and if you would like to hear more details regarding my story please contact me at the above e-mail or phone numbers. Thank you for your time.
Anthoula Paschalidou Russo
August 22, 2016