new-logo25By Angela V. Woodhull

 

 

10468201_687314554677465_9114756285200928886_nFew of us would enjoy having the bulk of our entire lifetime of savings converted into attorneys’ fees during the golden years of our lives. Yet that is happening with such frequency that the offspring of many of the elderly victims are gathering to speak out against ageism and the involuntary redistribution of assets.
One of the most famous occurred in Phoenix, Ariz., where 83-year-old Marie Long, was wrongly declared “mentally incompetent” (an astonishingly frequent occurrence in the courts where lots of money is involved). Subsequently, her professional guardian and the guardian’s attorneys spent all of Long’s money, $1.3 million, in less than two years. Most of Long’s money went for attorneys’ fees
Most of us are now familiar with foreclosure scams, unscrupulous homeowners associations and family court abuses. But few are aware of the lucrative corporate business of professional guardians and their attorneys gorging themselves on the assets of the elderly.
The Internet abounds with information about court-sanctioned predatory professional guardians and attorneys posted by groups such as the National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse, the National Organization to End Guardianship Abuse, Estate of Denial, and ANGER (Advocates for National Guardianship Ethics and Reform)
Ageism is the new frontier of exploitation. This new civil rights movement promises to affect all of us at some point, since every one of us expects to grow old.
Few of us would enjoy spending our golden years imprisoned in a marginal nursing home while unscrupulous attorneys and their guardians gouge our assets.
The American Association of Retired Persons has tenuously addressed this noteworthy issue, and the Government Accountability Office recently released a 57-page report about financial exploitation of the elderly. Increased public awareness is the first step to ending court-sanctioned predatory guardianships, ageism, and the involuntary redistribution of assets.
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