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Exec’s $2 million estate ‘wasted’ as disabled niece waits for inheritance: records

A profoundly disabled Upper East Side woman is about to run out of cash she needs for life-saving medications and aides — as a more than $1 million inheritance has been allegedly mishandled by a former home health aide during an eight-year court battle, records show.

Multiple scleroris has left Meryn Klabouch, 74, a quadriplegic, forcing her to burn through $20,000 to $30,000 in monthly medical costs, legal filings show.

She’s survived off a $1 million bequest from her father, Francis, who died in 2015, and was due another hefty payout when her aunt, Mutual of America Insurance Co. CEO Dolores Morrissey, died in 2016 at age 88.

But the money hasn’t materialized.

Morrissey’s estate included cash, stocks, and a 1-bedroom, 1.5-bath Yorkville co-op, itself once valued at $1 million, according to Manhattan Surrogate Court documents.  

Her aunt’s former home health aide — Janina Lewandowska — was named executor of the roughly $2 million-plus estate, but has let costs pile up, failed to dole out any of the cash and allowed Morrissey’s home to languish for nearly a decade before finally selling it in July for $825,000, Klabouch has charged.

Meryn Klabouch, 74, gets help from her home health aide Joy, in her Upper East Side apartment.
Helayne Seidman
Dolores Morrissey was ceo of Mutual of America Insurance company. She died in 2016, leaving a $1 million gift to her disabled niece.
Helayne Seidman

With funds from her father’s bequest running out, Klabouch says the court battle is now a matter of life or death.

“If Meryn does not receive a distribution from the estate she will end up dead, with no money to pay for her medication, caretakers, therapists and doctor,” her attorney wrote in court filings.

“This is truly an emergency which we beg the court address itself to, as there is plenty of money for Meryn’s care and the estate is being wasted each day.”

Francis Klabouch, left, and his wife Madeleine, left an inheritance to care for their disabled daughter as did Madeleine's sister, Dolores Morrissey (center).
Helayne Seidman

“I’ll be put in a nursing home,” Klabouch told The Post. “They’d probably kill me.”

Morrissey left modest amounts to about a dozen other relatives, none of whom have received the money.

Klabouch, in addition to $1 million cash, is supposed to receive half of whatever is left of her aunt’s estate after the co-op is sold and the other bequests are completed.

The executor of Morrissey's estate, Janina Lewandowska, left, seen here in an undated photo with Morrissey. Lewandowska was once Morrissey's home health aide.
Helayne Seidman

She recently got a measly $80,000 payout — but fears nothing else is left after Lewandowska — who blamed the co-op for delaying the apartment’s sale, told the court in December only $161,000 remained.

Klabouch said she’s tried to find out what happened to Morrissey’s money, but that Lewandowska has flouted court directives and hasn’t shared any financial information.

“One can only guess the reason she refuses to provide the information is that it will evidence the breach of her fiduciary duty,” Klabouch contended in court papers.

Lewandowska, who moved to Florida without telling the court, also got Morrissey’s cat, Timmy, and has allegedly refused to give Klabouch jewelry from her mother, Morrisey’s sister.

It took executor Janina Lewandowska nearly eight years to sell Morrissey's East End Avenue co-op.
Helayne Seidman

“We do not know if the estate is still in existence or if the executor has wasted it all,” according to court documents filed by Klabouch’s attorney, who added, “I believe that the executor always thought my client would die, and the executor … would keep …the money.”

Lewandowska declined comment.