Hosted by Julie Childs, J.D., Elder Justice Initiative, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC and Brenda Uekert, PhD, Director, Center for Elders and the Courts, National Center for State Courts and is a refreshing discussion on the risks of guardianship as Brenda provides valuable guidance to guard against being drawn into the nation’s probate court system. Nearly 200 people attended this webinar which lasts about an hour. Sadly, no effective redress options were offered when courts don’t perform in accordance to state and federal laws. Media exposure was candidly offered as the most successful option to motivate public officials to address issues.
Nationwide, state and local law enforcement most often refuse to investigate reports of financial exploitation by courts or those empowered by the courts. Elder exploitation prosecution isn’t a priority, especially when it’s conducted under the supervision of a judge, as is the case in guardianship. Most investigators are not trained to recognize it and often only take action when they observe blood or bruises. The common refrain is “This is a civil matter, I suggest you hire a lawyer.” Elder exploitation is a criminal violation and law enforcement’s negligence often inserts unsuspecting families into an unpredictable system financially incentivized to further the exploitation.
Bottom line: Guardianship is a very risky proposition with NO legitimate redress when it goes bad. Exposure is your greatest ally and significantly more advocacy with national leadership is required to curb probate and guardianship abuse.
To watch the webinar, click here