Drewen, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).
[41 NJSuper Page 477] Plaintiff is a woman 91 years of age. She is in a good state of health for one of her years. Mentally she appears to be strong-willed and normally perceptive. At the time of the transaction in question she was possessed of some $5,000 in cash. Defendants and their children, a family of five in all, were at the time living in a few rooms in a modest flat in the downtown section of the city of Newark. Plaintiff was well-acquainted with defendants and was in the habit of visiting them. Plaintiff had observed that defendants' quarters were cramped and she discussed that condition with them, ultimately suggesting that defendants purchase a house so as to have more living room. Defendants explained to her that they were prohibited from following plaintiff's suggestion by a drastic lack of funds, that such a step was impossible however welcome would be the relief of adequate living quarters. Following this juncture in the discussions plaintiff offered to advance to defendants the sum of $4,000 toward the purchase of a home, a sum which they might use as a down payment, giving a mortgage for the balance of the purchase price. Plaintiff offered to assist the defendants in the manner indicated if they would provide a home for her in the quarters to be purchased. Defendants agreed. A number of properties were looked at by plaintiff and defendants together, with a view to carrying out their joint purpose. They finally selected the property at No. 79 South Clinton Street, East Orange, which defendants purchased. The agreed sum was advanced by plaintiff and paid as part
of the purchase price; a mortgage for approximately $10,000 was given in addition by the defendants.
After the defendants had come to terms with the seller of the property they brought plaintiff to the office of their attorney (who represents them in the present action) with a view to having him act for them in the title closing. The defendants and plaintiff stated to the attorney the full details of the agreement they had arrived at, as above outlined. The attorney thereupon caused the contract to be reduced in due form to writing and to be executed by the parties. It is as follows:
"THIS AGREEMENT, made this 28th day of December, 1954, by and between John Slowineski and Veronica Slowineski, parties of the first part, and Mary Potkowicz, party of the second part, WITNESSETH:
WHEREAS, the party of the second part is 91 years of age and requires attention for her care and maintenance and whereas the party of the second part desires to live with the party of the first part, and whereas the party of the first part desires to take care of the said party of the second part for the balance of her natural life, NOW THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the premises and the sum of $1.00 to each of the parties in hand paid by the other the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:
1. Party of the first part acknowledges receipt from the party of the second part of the sum of $1,000 which represents the deposit for contract for purchase of property at 79 South Clinton Street, East Orange, New Jersey.
2. The party of the second part agrees to give to the party of the first part an additional sum of $3,000 to be used as the down payment on the above property at the time of taking of title.
3. The party of the first part agrees that they will furnish a home and a private room in the above premises to the party of the second part during the balance of her natural life and will supply her with all food, heat, light, and accommodations in the said premises together with all medical expenses necessary.
4. The parties of the first part further agree that upon her death they will pay all funeral expenses.
5. It is understood by and between the parties that the payment to the parties of the first part of the said $4,000 shall be the consideration for the promises of the parties of the first part to carry out the terms of this contract and also the furnishing of the items above listed. There shall not be any obligation on the part of the parties of the first part to repay all or any part of the said
$4,000 either to the party of the second part or to her heirs, administrators, executors or assigns ...