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Joann Bashinsky Golden Flake Heiress – Her Legacy: Stop Guardianship Abuse

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By Terri LaPoint, Real News Spark
February 16, 2021

Joann Bashinsky was well-known for her selfless generosity and philanthropy. She was heiress to the sizable Golden Flake potato chips fortune. She had fame, fortune, friends, and a good heart. Yet, none of that was enough to protect her from becoming still another victim of elder abuse via the manipulation of guardianship and conservatorship laws. Sadly, she spent her final year and a half on earth fighting a fierce battle for the simplest thing — control over her own life.

All it took was for a couple of disgruntled former employees to file a petition with a probate judge (on the same day that they were fired, no less) declaring her to be mentally unfit, and Mrs. Bashinsky’s life was forever changed. With no due process, and without a judge ever hearing a shred of evidence in her defense, complete strangers were appointed to manage her money and given effective control of her life.

Horror stories like hers happen every single day, right here in America. People are thrown into a system that dehumanizes them, stripping them of basic freedoms and human rights, all in the name of “protecting” them. More than 1.5 million adults in the United States are under guardianships and conservatorships, with more than $250 billion dollars a year in assets at stake.

Certainly, some of these cases involve incapacitated elderly adults in need of protection –truly at-risk individuals who have no one to care for them or make decisions for them when they are unable. However, an increasing number of people are falling victim to predatory webs of lawyers, social workers, guardians and conservators — and to corruption in the courtrooms. Much of it is enabled by doctors who are quick to label someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, even when other doctors disagree with their diagnosis.  READ MORE HERE

 

GUARDIANS TAKE TOTAL CONTROL: ISOLATE, MEDICATE, LIQUIDATE: The Tragic End of Marvin Siegel’s Life

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FROM OUR APRIL 1, 2019 PRINTED EDITION:

by Lonnie Brennan

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“They killed him,” Marvin Siegel’s daughter Lisa Siegel Belanger wrote in a text. She followed up to explain that six years of round-the-clock captivity in his own home and in various medical facilities, together with forced drugging and morphine, lack of proper care and the ability for his family to interact with him and help with decisions, accelerated her father’s death.

As we previously reported in this paper through a multi-part series of articles, including a personal account by Lisa, six years ago her father was taken from his Boxford, Mass. home via ambulance at the direction of a visiting nurse, and  was shortly thereafter placed in a psychiatric facility, forced on drugs, and then, while in the facility, signed over control of his estate to what Lisa detailed as predatory lawyers. That list of “predators” is long, and despite many trips to court to fight them, the lawyers continued to prevail.

Yes, Sometimes It IS All About the Money

At the time of his taking, Mr. Siegel’s known assets exceeded $6 million. During the past six years, attorneys drew off more than $4 million in what they termed as caring for the senior. A large chunk of that money was spent on round-the-clock home health care. But the numbers included more, much more.

Indeed, a review of the finances showed certain attorneys drawing tens of thousands of dollars and more, quarterly from the estate, with some racking up more than $200,000 in billing, and at attorney rates over a wide range, including some at more than $450 per hour.

For their fees they answered e-mails from one another, paid Mr. Siegel’s bills, ensured that he had his trash removed, the utilities bills paid, grass mowed, repairs made, and all the normal things to keep a household going.

With the signing over of his estate, Mr. Siegel lost all control and was appointed a guardian and other lawyers who managed his affairs. He was force-drugged without his knowledge to keep him complacent, and he began a long, slow decline, according to multiple court documents and written and oral testimony and writings by some of his family members. More

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