Archive for the ‘Probate court’ Category

Huguette Clark estate trial delayed 2 days to allow attempt at settlement

September 19, 2013

Huguette Clark estate, “Empty Mansions”
The copper heiress Huguette Clark
 poses in a Japanese print dress
 in about 1943, when she was 37.

NEW YORK — A last-ditch effort at a settlement is delaying Tuesday’s scheduled start of the trial to determine who will inherit the $300 million estate of Huguette M. Clark, the reclusive heiress to a copper mining fortune, attorneys said Monday.

To allow time for negotiations, jury selection has been put off until Thursday morning in Surrogate’s Court in Lower Manhattan.

The office of the New York attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, is trying to broker a settlement, attorneys said. His office’s Charities Bureau has made previous attempts, but Clark’s relatives, who are challenging her last will and testament, have not been able to find common ground with the beneficiaries named in the will.

It wasn’t clear Monday night how close a settlement might be. Several of the more than 60 attorneys in the case declined to comment. Schneiderman’s office had no comment.

Huguette (pronounced “oo-GET”) Marcelle Clark was the youngest daughter of former U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark (1839-1925), one of the copper kings of Montana and one of the richest men of the Gilded Age, a railroad builder and founder of Las Vegas. Born in Paris in 1906, Huguette was a shy painter and doll collector who spent her last 20 years living in simple hospital rooms. She attracted the attention of NBC News in 2009 because her fabulous homes in Connecticut, California and New York sat unoccupied but carefully maintained.

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Full Article and Source:
Huguette Clark estate trial delayed 2 days to allow attempt at settlement

Probate judge, Horry County Sheriff’s Office issue warning of possible fraud

September 15, 2013

A probate judge contacted the Horry County Sheriff’s Office when she learned of a possible scam, said agency spokesman Jeff Benton.

A resident told Judge Deirdre Edmonds someone came to their door claiming to be with the Horry County Probate Court and asked about a recent death in the family. Benton said the intent of the suspect is not known, but Benton said suspects in events like this typically prey on vulnerable people to gain access to their home or defraud them of money.

Probate court handles administration of estates of deceased persons, Edmonds said, but will not solicit families of the deceased and court representatives would never be sent to a home or property to inquire about a death. The only time a someone from the probate court would visit a home is when a guardianship or conservatorship action has been filed in the court for an incapacitated adult who is unable to manage personal or financial affairs.

Full Article and Source:
Probate judge, Horry County Sheriff’s Office issue warning of possible fraud

Reform Lands Maricopa County Superior Court’s Probate Court Top Honor

June 16, 2013

The National Association of Court Management has awarded Maricopa County Superior Court’s Probate Court with the 2013 Justice Achievement Award.
The award recognizes comprehensive reform efforts of judicial officers, administrators and court staff over the last three years, according to a news release from the Superior Court of Arizona.

“It is clear that over the past few years the Maricopa County Probate Court has experienced significant reform and innovation under the able leadership of Probate Presiding Judge Rosa Mroz,” said Superior Court Presiding Judge Norman Davis in the release.

“The process of improvement is by its nature perpetual, and the Maricopa County Superior Court has always, and will continue to strive for excellence in providing the public with the best judicial system possible,” Davis said.

The Court will accept the award at the NACM Annual Conference on July 15.

The Justice Achievement Award was established in 1988 to recognize outstanding achievement and meritorious projects that enhance the administration of justice, according to the release.

In 2010, Superior Court received a Justice Achievement Award for the re-design of its CASA website.

Reform Lands Probate Court Top Honor

Marti Oakley: Death Via Probate Court? I’m Not Dead!

April 15, 2013

 Across the country an American Horror Story is unfolding as massive numbers of elderly individuals who have committed the heinous crime of [aging with assets], now find themselves in probate court and officially declared dead in the law by virtue of being declared an incompetent ward of the state.

This is human trafficking sanctioned by not only the courts, but also by congresses, both state and federal who are well aware of these organized criminal activities, but who refused to acknowledge or act to defend the elderly from these predators.
This fictional declaration of death via probate court, is a careful construct patterned after the organized crime rings operating in family courts. In one court we abduct, sell and trade minor children, and in the other we abduct, sell and exploit the lives and finances of the elderly. Everyone involved, from the so-called protection agencies, judges, commercial predatory guardians, medical providers, hospitals, nursing homes and walls of unethical and immoral attorneys, line up to take a piece of the pie.
The pie can also be comprised of the monetary value in the Medicare/Medicaid system where targeted victims can be worth a million or more in inflated medical charges, padded medical billing, padded bills for doctors, insurance payments, thefts of social security benefits, VA benefits and whatever else may be out there in the way of grants, funding and subsidy.
Many times the “pie” can be comprised of liquid assets, stocks, bonds, property, valuable art and jewelry…..all of which can disappear into the accounts and pockets of the predators just as fast as the facilitating probate judge can declare the individual not only dead in the law, but incompetent as well.

Full Article and Source:
Death Via Probate Court?  I’m Not Dead!”

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Elder Abuse Thriving in Washington Probate Courts

March 24, 2013

Beverly Newman, Elder Advocate, Florida, will co-host this show.

Our guest this evening is Bill Sheidler from Washington state. Bill has been the victim of corrupt courts and attorneys who have reached the status of virtually “untouchable”.

On his website, which is currently under construction, Bill is beginning the documentation of all the players. Who is untouchable? Who is making money through human trafficking? How is this affecting future cases?

For example: Assume a disabled person is stripped of his property under color of law. The person cannot afford an attorney and goes to court under represented. The case is decided against this disabled person; and may establish a precedent. NOW this case (this precedent) is fodder for going after another persons property.

BY FIRST going after the property of the weak, old, disabled so as to establish the ‘common law’ it sets the stage for later going after the property of the “somewhat stronger” citizen.

It is the transfer of property from citizens to government by ONE CASE AT A TIME.

THIS is why the issues which you, me and many others have taken a stand against NEEDS TO GET THE ATTENTION of our citizens.

One day it will be their property that is taken and the “common law” will have been well established to allow government to walk in and take what they want.

7:00pm CST! 5:00pm PST …6:00pm MST … 7:00pm CST … 8:00pm EST

LISTEN TO THE SHOW LIVE or listen to the archive later!

LA County Probate Courts Reorganized

March 21, 2013

Starting next month, new Los Angeles Superior Court probate cases will be filed in one central courthouse, instead of multiple district locations throughout the county.
Currently, there are 10 courthouses that hear probate cases.

On April 8, new cases concerning wills, trusts, estates, guardianships and conservatorships will be filed in Room 429 in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, 111 N. Hill St. in Los Angeles, according to a news release earlier this month.

For a short time, between April 8 and June 10, district courthouses will continue to hear cases already set for hearing, said Mary Hearn, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Superior Court. But on June 10 all remaining adjudicated cases will be transferred to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

The Antelope Valley Courthouse, in the North District, is the only facility that will not be impacted by change.

There is one accommodation the court plans to make regarding the transferred guardianship and conservatorship cases.

“If there is some overriding hardship that prevents parties in those cases from traveling to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, the court will consider hearing the case at an outlying location,” Hearn said. “The reason is that conservatorship and guardianship cases frequently involve people with some kind of physical or mental disability that make traveling that distance especially difficult.”

“They can make a motion to the court to have the matter heard in a location closer to where they reside.”

The consolidation is part of an effort to save between $55 million and $85 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Full Article and Source:
LA County Probate Cases Reorganized

Beware Of Predatory Elder Law And Probate Lawyers

March 20, 2013

Few would allege that elder law and/or probate attorneys are completely unnecessary but due to causes as simple as greed and as scandalous as often times complete disregard of the Constitution in local and county probate courts, many predatory elder law and probate attorneys have begun unconscionably enriching themselves at the expense of their clients and everyone else involved, however, innocent their involvement. Abuses have become commonplace enough, one should “Beware Of Predatory Elder Law And Probate Lawyers.” A cottage industry of predatory elder law and probate attorneys make their primary incomes “living off the land,” by attaching their fees, which are often out of control, to the estates and assets whenever there is some controversy among families that causes one family member or another to “lawyer up.”

Unfortunately I have twice been victimized in such situations and I am certain that thousands, if not millions, more Americans have had similar experiences. My first experience involved the estate of my second ex-wife’s father. He had intended to give his estate, which included property in Oklahoma with at least one oil well on it, equally to his three children. He had set up a trust, but had appointed the wife of a cousin as the Trustee of the estate. The Trustee was not to be trusted and in addition to rifling through my ex’s father’s safety deposit boxes and emptying his bank accounts using a power of attorney after his death, employed the services of an attorney to keep the family at bay. The ploy was successful but resulted in the attorney selling the property in Oklahoma and using most of the proceeds to pay his own fees, giving a crumb of just $1000 or so to the Trustee.

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Beware Of Predatory Elder Law And Probate Lawyers

Editorial: Too Quiet in the Court

March 6, 2013

When is a public hearing not a hearing? When you can’t hear what’s going on, what’s the point of having a court hearing open to the public?

In probate court, the speakers are often so quiet you don’t have a clue what’s happening. In this court, many-a-fate of an older person is decided. Many elders are put under conservatorship, and lose their rights and freedom. Persons under conservatorship should have the right to be videotaped in this court.

An example of corruption was when my mother was placed under conservatorship – hundreds of thousands of dollars of her estate went to pay the fees of a profit-seeking network.

Family disunity was exploited. The court-approved evaluators said she had dementia – one said “likely of the Alzheimer’s type.” My mother’s choice of evaluator, a highly qualified neuropsychologist, Dr. Cheryll Smith of Montecito, and her doctor of 25 years, found her competent but this was ignored by the court. She was even given heavy-duty dementia medications, which she refused to take. When the second professional conservator resigned due to my “interference,” my mom was placed in the hands of the Public Guardian, who found her to be competent. The Public Guardian, who had no incentive to portray her in a negative light and plunder her estate, petitioned for the conservatorship to end.

Full Article & Source:
Too Quiet in the Court

Cool Justice: Unfit To Serve: The Farce Known As Probate Court

October 22, 2012

Going to certain probate courts is still like watching a crooked card game where there is no sheriff in town. Question a fixed hand and they’ll plug you full of lead.

Silly me, I thought the great state of Connecticut reformed the probate system in the 1980s after a relatively young state representative named Chris Shays put a laser beam on one of the most grotesque corruption cases in our history.

Shays was outraged by the actions of a Hartford probate judge who oversaw the looting of a $35 million estate by lawyers acting as conservators. Ethel Donaghue, ill and in her 80s, was conserved – losing all control of her finances, health care and mansion across from the governor’s residence – without her knowledge. Two lawyers ran up fees of more than $100,000 a year each “managing” her estate while also hosting private parties and concerts in which guests said Donaghue seemed oblivious.

When no serious action was taken – other than by investigative reporters – Shays pursued complaints before a Superior Court judge, calling reprimands against the lawyers “ridiculously” lenient. Shays argued that both lawyers and the judge should have been disbarred. He refused to stop speaking when ordered to do so, was found in contempt and sentenced to jail.

Full Article and Source:
Cool Justice: Unfit To Serve: The Farce Known As Probate Court

Mary Sudovar: An Unsuspecting Victim?

October 16, 2012

Life sometimes has unexpected turns that take us to situations we never supposed possibly to become our own. It could never happen to us…not us. I’m sure that is what Mary Sudovar once thought. Never her or her family, she might have thought, if ever a negative consideration crossed this special woman’s mind in the first place. So how did it come to be that the children she so loves are now at odds and the court system is involved?

Thirty-three months ago, Mary had an estate that should have kept her comfortable for her remaining years. She had funds and she had property. Now her money is allegedly gone, her house is sold and the alleged attorney in fact is requesting the court to allow him to take the house sale money as a repayment for a loan he and his wife supposedly made to his mother. So where does that leave the 102 year old Mary Sudovar?

Some might try to argue that Mary is not a victim. I’m not sure what the argument might be. After all, what does one call it when family runs through that much money in that short of a time? And what happens now? Does Mary stay on with family for free? Will there be no more additional charges? If it can be done now, why not before? But what about the private nursing personnel? Who will be picking up the tab for that? Or, will that service end? Will Mary stay or will she go?

Full Article and Source:
Mary Sudovar: An Unsuspecting Victim?
See Also: Mary Sudovar: The Children at War