In 2004, John Potter and his wife, who has since died, gave the general power of attorney to his daughter for future matters if they declined in health, including to take care of her autistic adult brother, now 63.
But unbeknownst to Potter, his daughter Janice Cottrill eventually used that power to convey the deed to the one-story home to herself. In 2010, Potter said he learned of the deed transfer and switched power of attorney to his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, now 35.
Potter, a World War II veteran and retired train dispatcher for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, sued to get the home back, arguing that his daughter had transferred the deed to herself illegally because those with the power of attorney are not permitted to transfer assets to themselves from the estate they oversee.
Potter won in Vinton County Court, but an appeals court ruled last year that the statute of limitations of four years had passed on the accusation of fraud and thus the deed could not be handed back to Potter.