Archive for the ‘Power of Attorney’ Category

Bond set for Ga. trio in elderly exploitation case

November 19, 2013

— Bond has been set for two college students whose mother is accused of scamming an elderly man out of money they paid tuition with.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent Danny Jackson told the Rome News-Tribune ( ) 54-year-old Kathryn Dawsey and her 19 and 22-year-old daughters were set to appear in court Monday.

Jackson says Kathryn Dawsey is accused of convincing the 91-year-old victim to grant her power of attorney. Jackson says she made transactions from his account after a court order restricted her from accessing his money.

Court officials say Dawsey is being held without bond in the Marion County jail on charges of theft and exploitation of an elderly adult.

Dawsey’s daughters face similar charges, and their bonds have been set at $50,000. It’s unclear if they have attorneys.

Full Article and Source:
Bond set for Ga. trio in elderly exploitation case

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Probate Court Fraud With Guest Judy Barnes

November 17, 2013

Ohio, a state rife with probate abuses and predatory guardians, has another case you just cannot believe took place.  Between stolen property, funds and fraudulent POA’s, an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s was robbed of a million dollar estate.

Her daughter fought back.  The result?  The family home, built by the family,  on valuable shorefront property was intentionally reduced to rubble.  Even with the known threats that this would happen if the daughter didn’t back off, the courts and law enforcement did nothing.

Just goes to show you what a crooked attorney and an immoral probate can accomplish when no one holds them accountable.

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This Man’s Shocking Story of Elder Financial Abuse Will Make You Hug Your Grandparents

September 20, 2013

“I should preface this by saying that my brother has always been a sociopath,” Brian Litwak told me. “But I had no other choice than to trust him because the doctor had told him, but not me, that I was supposed to die in six months.”

A former teacher, he tells his tale in a nonchalant, matter-of-fact voice. At 78 he’s wrinkled and pale, but his eyes still twinkle and his memory seems precise. I hear flickers of anger as he sits, cane in hand, in an armchair across from me.
He has reason to be upset. 
Brian is a victim of the financial side of elder abuse. His younger brother, he tells me, stole thousands of dollars from him when Brian moved into an assisted living home in Tucson in 2003..

He came to Tucson from California with about $250,000 and ended up with $12,000. The money, which Brian earned over 33 years as a teacher, started to disappear after his brother was granted a [pwer of attorney to take care of his health issues and finances.

Although his brother thought he didn’t have much time left, Brian soldiered on. In 2008, he visited his technologically savvy son in San Francisco, who finally uncovered that Brian’s brother had lied to him about how much his California condominium had sold for (he thought it went for $139,000, he says it actually sold for $295,000).

“Feeling there was something wrong” when he returned to Tucson, Brian unsuccessfully tried to broach the subject with his brother. Things took a turn for the worse when he got a letter from Medicare that said that because he hadn’t paid his fees for five months and was suspended from the program. His brother, he said, had been neglecting these payments.

“That’s very scary for an old person, not to have medical coverage,”he said.

Brian is not alone. More than 500,000 adults will be abused or neglected annually, and that number is probably an underestimate because many people are likely too scared or otherwise unable to seek help.

This is especially concerning when you take into account that the elder population is rapidly increasing. By 2050, 20 percent of the population will be made up of people who are 65 and older, and the fastest growing portion of the population is people 85 and up.

Thankfully, Handmaker — the assisted living home where Brian lives — has a policy where if you’ve been living at their facility for at least three years and your money runs out, they don’t kick you out. Handmaker also doesn’t look like your typical assisted living home. With long, wide hallways, tall ceilings and a plethora of windows, it almost has a university feel to it.

Full Article and Source:
This Man’s Shocking Story of Elder Financial Abuse Will Make You Hug Your Grandparents

Ex-judge avoids jail for fleecing woman

August 6, 2013

A former Alameda County Superior Court judge charged with swindling a 97-year-old neighbor out of her life savings pleaded no contest Thursday to elder abuse and perjury and will not face jail time.

Paul Seeman, who was originally charged with dozens of felony counts, is expected to be sentenced to five years of probation Oct. 22 as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He will be ordered not to live with or act as a caregiver for an elder or dependent adult other than family members or act as a fiduciary for anyone, authorities said.

District Attorney Nancy O’Malley said, “Seeman has paid for his breach of trust as a judicial officer, and he has paid for his financial abuse of the elderly victim who has since passed away. He will never serve in a position of trust or authority again, as a result of these convictions. Justice is served through the resolution of this case.”

Seeman, 58, of Berkeley has declined to discuss the case. His attorney, Laurel Headley, declined to comment Thursday.

In the charges filed last year, authorities said Seeman had befriended Anne Nutting, his neighbor across the street on Santa Barbara Road in the Berkeley hills, and obtained powers of attorney for her and her husband, who died in 1999.

He then used those powers to gain control of Nutting’s finances, sold her art works and barred her from her house from 1999 to 2007 while she lived in a hotel at the Berkeley Marina, prosecutors said. She died in 2010, but not before consulting with an attorney who then contacted police.

Seeman was also accused of lying about his financial transactions with Nutting in his sworn statements of economic interests, and with misusing judicial staff.

Seeman acknowledged to police that he had put himself in an “awfully bad situation” while handling Nutting’s financial affairs. He told a Berkeley police detective that it was “clearly a mistake for me to stay as enmeshed with her as I did,” authorities said.

At the same time, Seeman said he didn’t believe he had “done anything unethical or inappropriate,” district attorney’s Inspector Kathy Boyovich wrote in an 87-page search-warrant affidavit filed in Superior Court.

Seeman resigned from the bench in March. As a result of his convictions, he is barred from seeking judicial office and disbarred from practicing law in California.

Full Article and Source:
Ex-judge avoids jail for fleecing woman

See Also:
Judge Paul Seeman, Charged With Elder Abuse, Resigns

Alameda County judge charged in elder abuse case to take leave of absence; affidavit outlines charges

CA: Alameda County Judge Charged With Elder Theft

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Jim and Lon: Separated by Greed and Deceit

July 21, 2013

After 34 Years together, Jim and Lon were separated due to the greed and deceit of Jim’s adoptive sister.

The past 6 years Jim has suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was hospitalized last year. His estranged sister filed for guardianship. Jim and Lon had constructed legal instruments, including giving each other power of attorney, (POA) which was  never revealed in court. The court was never informed that Lon even existed, that he and Jim had made formal arrangements with each other and Lon was never mentioned nor considered nor notified of the court hearings which gave the sister guardianship and total control over Jim’s life and assets.
The result?  Carolyn Heath Franks moved quickly and had her brother isolated and held in a nursing home.  Visitors, including Lon, are threatened with criminal trespass charges if they attempt to see him.  Lon has been physically dragged away from Jim and tossed into the street, and threatened.
All of this done to take the house, take the estate and to profit from the life’s work of Jim.  And all of this done by a sister who plays the organ at church and paints herself as a pillar of the community.

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See Also:
Five Legal Documents Same Sex Couples Need in Texas

NASGA:  Jim Heath, Texas Victim

Editorial: Not Enough Protection for Elders

June 14, 2013

June 14 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Financial exploitation of elders is becoming the primary form of elder abuse, often involving family members or even close elderly friends who prey on seniors to gain control of assets. The elder need not have dementia to be victimized. These predators take advantage of physical disabilities — vision, hearing, mobility — to gain an elder’s trust and isolate the elder, to control communication, transportation, medical care and to access mail and credit cards, bank accounts and investments.

Legal mechanisms like power of attorney (POA), guardianship/conservatorship or healthcare proxy (HCP) can be obtained through misrepresentation, coercion, isolation and intimidation of an elder. The abuser then can use the victim’s assets to fight those trying to stop the exploitation.

Another form of abuse is “granny snatching”; an elder is taken out of state under false pretenses (a vacation?) to a perpetrator’s turf, isolated from the elder’s friends, family and familiar medical care. Once there, new legal and financial oversight (guardian, conservator, POA) is obtained. The elder rarely returns.

Full Editorial and Source:
Not Enough Protection for Elders

PA Court Case Examines Health Care Power of Attorney, Living Will

June 13, 2013

Pennsylvania’s Superior Court recently decided an important case concerning the validity of a health care power of attorney and living will once an individual becomes incapacitated: In re: Estate and Person of Russell R. Border Jr., an incapacitated person, 2013 PA Super 94 (April 23, 2013).

Because of the importance of the case and the need to recount facts, this will be a two-part article continuing next month.
In 2010, the Berks County Office of Aging filed a petition for appointment of a guardian on behalf of Border, a 62-year old resident of a nursing facility with chronic medical conditions and failing health. Border had a wife and two adult daughters.
In 2007, he executed a health care power of attorney naming his eldest daughter, Renee, as his agent.
The Office of Aging requested that Renee be appointed as guardian of Border’s person and nominated an attorney, Sharon Gray, as guardian of the estate. The Orphans’ Court Judge entered an order declaring Border to be an incapacitated person, appointed his daughter as guardian of the person, Gray as guardian of the estate, and revoked any other existing health care power of attorney previously executed by Border.
Two weeks later, the Office of Aging filed a motion for reconsideration based upon Renee’s decision to remove Border from the nursing facility to return him to his residence, where she intended to care for him. The Office of Aging felt that Renee was not physically able to care for her father and that he belonged in a nursing facility. The Orphans’ Court judge agreed and amended its order to appoint Gray as guardian of the estate. For two years, Gray served in the capacity of guardian of Border’s person and estate, making all decisions regarding his care and finances.
In March 2012, Border was admitted to the ICU at Reading Hospital, placed on a mechanical ventilator with other forms of life-sustaining treatment. Border’s physician contacted Gray to advise that Border’s health condition was both terminal and futile, and requested that she authorize removal of life support. Border’s family, including his wife, brother, sister and both adult daughters, all agreed with this recommendation. Gray disagreed and asserted her authority as guardian of Border’s person to prohibit the removal of life support.
In 2007, Border executed a durable power of attorney for health care and living will, where he appointed his daughter, Renee, as agent. Border elected to have life-sustaining treatments under all categories of situations listed in the living-will document. He also opted for his preferences to serve as a “general guide,” acknowledging that “in some situations, the person making the decisions for him may decide something different … if they think it is in his best interest.” Relying upon the living will and conversations between herself and Border (acknowledging, however, that those conversations took place after Border was already incapacitated), Gray refused to authorize removal of life support.
As a result of the conflict between Border’s family and Gray as guardian, the hospital filed an emergency petition, seeking the removal of Gray as guardian and suggesting that Border’s brother replace Gray. The Orphans’ Court Judge did just that, directing that the brother had specific authority to withhold and/or decline any life-sustaining medical treatment, including removing Border from a ventilator.

"I Made a Small Change"

June 3, 2013

Source: Woman’s Day Magazine, May 2013

Note: Attorney Tara Wilson is the daughter of NASGA Member Diane Wilson

WWII Vet Reaches Fundraising Goal To Prevent His Daughter From Evicting Him

May 27, 2013

A World War II veteran who claimed breach of fiduciary duty by his daughter in a lawsuit is now trying to prevent her from evicting him with a fundraising appeal that reached its goal on Thursday.

John Potter, 91, lived in his Zaleski, Ohio, home for 56 years.

According to a lawsuit he filed in 2011, he had given power of attorney to his daughter, who transferred the property to herself and her husband in 2004. An appeals court tossed the suit on statute of limitations grounds in a decision last year, citing evidence that Potter was aware of the transfer in 2004. Now the daughter is seeking to evict Potter.

Potter transferred power of attorney to his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, who launched the fundraising appeal on GoFundMe in hopes she could buy the property for Potter. She told AOL Real Estate that Potter’s daughter had filed the eviction papers after a dispute between them over visitation rights to Potter’s autistic son. Potter’s son-in-law had told that Potter could remain in the home if he would “stop the lawsuits.”

In a post at GoFundMe on Thursday, Fraley said her goal of raising $125,000 to buy back Potter’s home had been reached. “Thank you all!” Fraley wrote. “Those words seem so shallow compared to what I feel. All of your hearts reaching out to him is such an amazing gift.”

Full Article and Source:
WWII Vet Reaches Fundraising Goal to Prevent His Daughter From Evicting Him

See Also:
91-Year-Old Man Raised Money to Prevent Eviction by Daughter

91-Year-Old Man Raised Money to Prevent Eviction by Daughter

May 20, 2013
A 91-year-old man wants to stop his daughter from evicting him from the home he built 56 years ago in Zaleski, Ohio, a small community south of Columbus.

In 2004, John Potter and his wife, who has since died, gave the general power of attorney to his daughter for future matters if they declined in health, including to take care of her autistic adult brother, now 63.

But unbeknownst to Potter, his daughter Janice Cottrill eventually used that power to convey the deed to the one-story home to herself. In 2010, Potter said he learned of the deed transfer and switched power of attorney to his granddaughter, Jaclyn Fraley, now 35.

Potter, a World War II veteran and retired train dispatcher for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, sued to get the home back, arguing that his daughter had transferred the deed to herself illegally because those with the power of attorney are not permitted to transfer assets to themselves from the estate they oversee.

Potter won in Vinton County Court, but an appeals court ruled last year that the statute of limitations of four years had passed on the accusation of fraud and thus the deed could not be handed back to Potter.

Early this year, his daughter and her husband sent Potter an eviction notice, saying they had terminated his “existing lease.” An eviction hearing will take place on June 12, during which the judge will have no choice but to evict Potter, Fraley told ABC News.

When asked how he feels about being evicted by his daughter and son-in-law, Potter was at a loss for words.

“I just cannot believe my daughter would ever do anything like that to me,” he said.

Full Article and Source:
91-Year-Old Man Raised Money to Prevent Eviction by Daughter