Archive for the ‘guardians’ Category

Need a guardian? If you don’t pick one, court will for you

August 21, 2013

Having someone you trust to make decisions for you when you can’t is a good idea, if you don’t want a stranger doing it, that is.

In Illinois, if you are “not decisional” as the lawyers say, and you haven’t chosen someone to act on your behalf when you’re in that state, a judge will appoint a guardian for you.

In Champaign County, John Brown of Savoy is the county public guardian for those who have no one else to do the job. In Vermilion County, Matt Myrick of Oakwood holds that position.

“Having a decision-maker that you trust, that you have the opportunity to talk to about how you want medical decisions made before that emergency occurs is really important,” said Champaign attorney Deb Feinen, whose office specializes in petitioning for guardianships.

“Assuming that you don’t revoke your power-of-attorney, that person is able to make all the decisions and you don’t have to go to court and get a guardianship,” she said.

Champaign County Judge Holly Clemons, who handles most of the requests for guardianships, said typically the requests come from a family member who has no power to act because the affected loved one hasn’t executed a power-of-attorney.

Full Article and Source:
Need a guardian? If you don’t pick one, court will for you

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Linda Kincaid Reports: California Senate Judiciary Committee vote to curb elder abuse by conservators

June 21, 2013




AB937 will clarify that a conservatee retains basic personal rights guaranteed in the California Constitution. These rights include the right to receive visitors, the right to telephone calls, and the right to personal mail, unless specifically limited by court order.

This most basic right to engage in personal relationships is routinely violated by California conservators. The bill’s author, Assembly Member Bob Wieckowski writes in the bill analysis:

They then use their incorrect belief of absolute control to completely isolate conservatee from the outside world. No visitors, no phone calls, no mail from life partner, family, friends, neighbors, clergy, and/or advocates. 

AB 937 clarifies the Probate Code to state that in a conservatorship, the conservatee still retains personal rights such as the right to receive visitors, telephone calls and mail, unless these rights are limited by court order or need to be limited to protect the conservatee from abuse.

The bill analysis adds comments from an advocate whose mother was the victim of an abusive conservator.

My mother, Carol Hahn in San Bernardino County, was isolated by her conservator for fifteen months in 2010 and 2011. The conservator allowed no visitation and severely restricted phone calls. Mom’s right to visitation was finally restored by a restraining order against continued isolation. That effort cost family $70K in legal fees. The cost to my mom was far greater. During the time she was isolated, Mom lost her memories of loved ones and she lost the ability to walk.  

I soon learned of other victims of the same type of abuse. The Santa Clara County Public Guardian isolated Gisela Riordan and Lillie Scalia beginning in 2010. Gisela was allowed no visitors, phone calls, or mail for two years. Lillie was completely isolated from family for one year; then she was allowed some limited visitation the second year.

Personal rights were restored to Gisela and Lille as a result of media coverage by ABC7 in San Francisco. Lillie has been returned to her home, and Gisela is now allowed visitors. Without media coverage, both women would likely still be prisoners.

Full Article and Source:
California Senate Judiciary Committee vote to curb elder abuse by conservators