- Gifts to persons (caregivers, service providers, friends) who are not the natural objects of the client’s bounty
- Gifts to anyone that are so large, given the size and nature of the client’s estate, as to threaten the client’s economic security
- Loans, particularly if undocumented, to anyone; special scrutiny required if to non‑family members
- Actions by client’s fiduciary (attorney-in-fact, trustee, other) that reflect poor judgment or conflict of interest
- Existence of estate-planning documents naming non‑family members as fiduciaries or beneficiaries
- Existence of joint accounts with non‑family members
- Evidence that client signs checks prepared by others
- Bequest plans or other arrangements favoring one child, particularly if a caregiver
- Evidence of physical harm (bruises, cuts, etc.)
- Evidence of excessive dependence on a child or other person, particularly if such other person is critical to the client’s independence and/or ability to avoid a nursing home
- Material inconsistency between client’s understanding of estate and its true value
- Excessive fees charged by professionals (trustees, attorneys, financial advisors, stockbrokers, other)
- Unconscionable terms of loans or other financial arrangements.
Courses of Action When Elder Abuse Identified :
- Require accountings from prior fiduciaries. Court procedures are available to compel such accountings.
- Institute conservatorship/guardianship procedures to formalize authority in a third party who will be accountable to the courts.
- Contact Adult Protective Services (or its equivalent) in the client’s community. [Caveat: Doing so may constitute a breach of confidentiality.]
- Revoke or amend estate-planning documents that do not comport with client’s wishes.
- Commence civil action against person(s) who take financial advantage of client. Such actions may include elder abuse (in jurisdictions so providing), fraud, negligence,
misrepresentation, theft and breach of contract.
- Commence civil action against person(s) who physically abused the client. Such actions may include elder abuse, assault, battery, wrongful death and violation of Patient Bill of Rights (if events occurred in a nursing home).
- Remove assets from accounts held jointly with suspected abuser.
- Involve the police and raise possible criminal charges against abuser.
- Draft documents (durable power of attorney, trust, other) to effect true, independent wishes of client.
- Involve social worker, counselor, psychologist or professional geriatric care manager.
- Involve professional, bonded fiduciary to manage assets for client.
- Wealth is not a Barrier to Abuse and Exploitation – it’s an Invitation (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Elder Abuse & Financial Crimes: What’s it all about? (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Appalling information about Missouri & Elder Abuse! (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- National Organization to Stop Elder Abuse and Guardianship Abuse (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Seniors and Conservatorship – helping you understand. (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- The 5 Senses of Abuse (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Janice Cagle, Cedar County, MO public administrator & conservator & co-guardian of my father, Ronald Richard Kirkwood
- Peter A. Lee, (Missouri Bar No. 55172) attorney for Janice Cagle AND guardian ad lidem (conveniently) for my father, Ronald Richard Kirkwood
- Elizabeth V. Rohrs, (Missouri Bar No. 31433) attorney representing Mary Hackbirth Kirkwood * ( see photo below )
- Cedar County Probate Court in care of Melinda Gumm, Cedar County, MO court clerk
I received all 4 notifications back signed and delivered. Mary Catherine Kirkwood *, (as listed this time), (see photo below) was then appointed personal representative of my father’s estate & that he died intestate. NOTE: Mary * was appointed co-guardian and NOT CONSERVATOR in the Guardianship proceedings (Case No: 10CD-PR0059), despite her requests & application. The Circuit Court of Cedar County, Missouri Probate Division, Judge Dennis D. Reaves, then put all fiduciary responsibility back in her hands on September 30, 2011?!?
Clearly this makes absolutely no sense.
isolate, medicate, take the estate
- Fear of Living (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Missouri Senate Backs Expansion of Elder Abuse Law (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Grief and Alzheimer’s — Anguish Over Multiple Losses (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- No one should ever become… (larkkirkwood.wordpress.com)
- Rosa Parks Estate Looted by Attorneys and Judge, Lawyer Alleges (abcnews.go.com)
The purpose of the law – known both as guardianship and conservatorship is to “GUARD” and “CONSERVE”
* To GUARD “incapacitated” or “incompetent” people from harming
* To CONSERVE their assets and property; and
* To prevent them from becoming a “public charge.”
BUT SOMETHING’S GONE TERRIBLY WRONG!
Over the years, a growing uncaring and unjust judicial system has helped convert guardianship/conservatorship from an appropriate law to one which, if misused, is damaging to the general public. At present, it operates to ensnare the most vulnerable people in a larger and larger trawling net, now including those merely physically “incapacitated”! It has become a feeding trough for unethical lawyers and other “fiduciaries” appointed by the courts to protect, but many of whom become nothing more than predators.
Wards, instead of being protected by the system, are victimized by it. Strangers are given total and absolute control of life, liberty, and property of their wards. Wards of the state lose all rights involving self-determination, including:
• the right to contract, including the right to choose a lawyer;
• the right to control their assets and make financial decisions;
• the right to remain in their own home and protect it from sale;
• the right to protect and enjoy their personal property;
• the right to choose where to live;
• the right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including psychotropic drugs;
• the right to decide their social environments and contacts;
• the right to assure prompt payment of taxes and liabilities;
• the right to vote;
• the right to drive;
• the right to marry; and
• the right to complain.
After being stripped of all their rights, wards are left defenseless and subject to exploitation by the very people chosen to protect them; they are now invisible and voiceless.
Uncaring/corrupt judges misuse the law and engage in blatant due process, civil/human rights violations. Victims aren’t always given notice of hearings at which their competence will be adjudicated, aren’t always allowed to attend, and often don’t have lawyers. If the court does appoint lawyers, often they are too closely affiliated with other professionals who make their living in this special area; and do not properly represent the victims’ interests. Corrupt judges do not apply the required evidentiary standards in making adjudications of incompetency, and frequently fail to obey the protective statutes, or include specific findings of fact.
Homes are sold to insiders at below market! Contents – family heirlooms, jewelry, photographs, etc. – disappear, either stolen outright or sold at auction. Estate assets are rapidly paid out to the fiduciaries in exorbitant “fees” and “commissions” until there is nothing left!
“Fiduciaries” are given power of life and death, burying their wards in nursing homes where they are kept chemically restrained with unnecessary and dangerous drugs; family members are denied any say in their care, and sometimes denied visitation, except under guard at their own expense!
Hard to believe this is happening in America? Believe it!
AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE COURT-APPOINTED FIDUCIARIES TAKE EVERYTHING AND LEAVE THEIR WARDS WITH NOTHING? A shocking twist: the American Taxpayer, whom these statutes are supposed to protect, is actually now PAYING THE TAB FOR THEIR CONTINUED LIFELONG CARE UNDER MEDICAID while the people who are “licensed to steal” enjoy their unearned and unjust enrichment. INSTEAD OF PROTECTING THE PUBLIC INTEREST, GUARDIANSHIP HAS INDEED BECOME A BURDEN TO THE TAXPAYER!… an extremely ironic, costly, and appalling consequence of a good law gone bad! Some fiduciaries claim that what they’re doing (while filling their pockets) is to “spend down” the assets specifically to qualify the ward for Medicaid! No way!!! That’s not what the law intended!