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Florida: Guardianship ‘Fix’ Heads To Governor’s Desk

April 19, 2017

By Kate Payne A slate of changes to Florida’s guardianship law is heading to the governor’s desk. The updates legislators want are meant to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, but critics worry they’re missing the mark. Florida’s guardianship laws outline how someone is deemed legally incapable of handling their own affairs. Ultimately, finances and end of life issues can all be overseen by a guardian. Here’s St. Petersburg Democrat Ben Diamond explaining how [- more...]

Rhode Island: Richmond probate judge asks whether lawyers are taking too much from woman’s estate

April 19, 2017

By Tom Mooney Journal Staff Writer RICHMOND, R.I. — A contested probate case is raising questions about how a 90-year-old woman from Ohio became involuntarily committed to a Rhode Island assisted-living facility. The case of Rita Cole, of Cincinnati, has attracted the attention of an advocacy group called the Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, which — along with a relative and friend of Cole’s — alleges that a court-appointed guardian had Cole committed to a Providence [- more...]

Nevada: Helen Natko convicted in guardianship abuse case

April 12, 2017

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – A jury has convicted a Las Vegas woman who was the subject of a Contact 13 Investigation for crimes in a guardianship case. Helen Natko was found guilty of theft and exploitation of a vulnerable person. The victim was her long-time companion Del Mencarelli who passed away in July 2015. Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears started looking into guardianship corruption nearly 3 years ago with Del’s case. Natko was appointed Del’s guardian. But Del’s [- more...]

Pennsylvania: the tragic case of mentally-competent Betty Winstanley

April 9, 2017

by Sharyl Attkisson/FullMeasure.news 04/09/2017 — Sharyl: Court-appointed guardianships for incapacitated adults can do a tremendous service protecting their assets, fielding family feuds, and making difficult decisions. But some elderly feel victimized by the very system tasked with protecting them. One estimate in 2013 found 1.5 million adults were under court-ordered guardianships controlling $273 billion in personal assets. Complaints appear to be growing but it’s impossible to know [- more...]

Florida: Guardianship reform thwarted by Judge’s wife

April 9, 2017

By John Pacenti/Palm Beach Post After years of lobbying state legislators, peppering them with horror stories about incapacitated seniors trapped in court-ordered guardianships, advocates thought they had a solution in hand. Lawmakers passed a bill in the 2016 session that would for the first time give Florida the power to regulate professional guardians appointed by judges to control the finances and the medical care of some of the state’s most vulnerable people. No longer would families [- more...]

Sunday April 9, 2017: Are guardianship programs more hurtful than helpful?

April 7, 2017

From Sharyl Attkisson’s Sunday program Full Measure, “Are guardianship programs more hurtful than helpful?“ Full Measure is a weekly Sunday news program focusing on investigative, original and accountability reporting. The host is Sharyl Attkisson, five-time Emmy Award winner and recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting. She is backed by a team of award winning journalists. April 9, 2017: Click here to view the complete Sharyl Attkisson’s [- more...]

Rhode Island: Rita Cole’s story

April 1, 2017

TO: Judge Christine Engustian of the Richmond Probate Court and her managers, The Town Council of Richmond, Rhode Island. Ms. Rita Cole, 90, resident of Cincinnati, OH, conscripted into guardianship in Rhode Island, Case No. 2016-15 had a net worth of $225,000 in May 2016 when attorney R.J. Connelly, III involuntarily conscripted her into guardianship. Rita was in Rhode Island visiting family and had Connelly modify her estate documents where he gained access to all her critical estate [- more...]

New Mexico: Albuquerque Journal, state’s largest newspaper, joins lawsuit to end sequestration of guardian mismanagement case

March 31, 2017

Annette Rosenstiel lived to be 101 years old. But what happened to her and her assets during the nine years before her death in 2012 is mired in court-ordered secrecy that is opposed by her only child. Annette Rosenstiel, an author who was married to New York financial heavyweight Raymond S. Rosenstiel, had been the ward of a for-profit guardian/conservator, Decades LLC of Albuquerque, since about 2003. After her death, Annette’s daughter and personal representative, Leonie Rosenstiel, filed [- more...]

New Mexico Editorial: State Supreme Court makes right move in guardian system review

March 31, 2017

By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board It’s encouraging to see the New Mexico Supreme Court recognizes the need to review the state’s troubled system designed to protect individuals deemed by the courts to be “incapacitated” and placed under court-appointed guardianship, conservatorship or both. Chief Justice Charles Daniels says he and the other four justices plan to appoint a commission to undertake a comprehensive study of the issue – including public hearings – that will inform [- more...]

New Mexico: State Supreme Court wants review of state’s guardian system

March 26, 2017

The state Supreme Court is forming a commission to look into issues surrounding New Mexico’s system of court-appointed guardians and conservators for incapacitated people. Chief Justice Charles Daniels told the Journal on Friday that he and the other four justices want the commission to do a comprehensive study of the issue and inform the court of its findings after holding public proceedings. “We’re in the early stages of creating a mechanism or a board or commission to look into the [- more...]
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