Relatives of a former Santa Fe resident declared unable to handle her affairs want her partner to turn over half their joint assets.
Carol Anderson and Judith Shackelford, who lived together for 12 years “with short periods of estrangement,” registered as domestic partners in California and lived in Santa Fe until last year, according to a petition filed in state District Court on Tuesday.
It says the couple owns a house south of Santa Fe (valued by the county assessor at $789,290), a business called Shackelford Associates, two automobiles, a recreational vehicle, other assets and, until recently, a Merrill Lynch account worth $400,000.
In September, Anderson “sent more than $240,000 to persons she had not met who promised to pay her large prize winnings,” says the petition for restitution and division of jointly owned assets. “These funds were expended with the knowledge and active assistance of Judith Shackelford.”
In October, it says, a Santa Fe judge declared Anderson “lacked capacity to enter into contracts or other business” and appointed her relatives Adam Anderson, Alice Wheatley Anderson and Tamara Strachman as guardians and conservators of her estate.
“Subsequent to the appointment,” it says, “Carol Anderson moved with the assistance of Judith Shackelford to Alton, Illinois, without authorization and contrary to the direction of the guardians and conservators. …
“Based upon Judith Shackelford’s history of knowingly acquiescing to the financial exploitation of Carol Anderson, the property and funds held by Judith Shackelford are not likely to be maintained for the future support and maintenance of Carol Anderson.”
The lawsuit asks a judge to order Shackelford to return to the conservators one half of the value of the couple’s assets and to pay attorney fees and expenses.
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Lawsuit: Partner Enabled Exploitation