Tag Archives: probate

GUARDIANSHIP: How Judges and Lawyers Steal Your Money

The germ of destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary, an irresponsible body – working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall render powerless the check of one branch over the other and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.
Thomas Jefferson


GUARDIANSHIP: How Judges and Lawyers steal your money

Katherine Hine, ActivistPost.com
March 17, 2016

guardianship 2Book Review: GUARDIANSHIP: How Judges and Lawyers Steal Your Money M. Larsen, Ed., 2016; Pub: Janet Pipes; ISBN: 9780692586211. Price: $13.38. Available HERE

Setting the stage for Michael Larsen’s collection of personal accounts of escalating crimes against the elderly in probate courts, one typical story from the reference manual, GUARDIANSHIP, describes the techniques probate judges, attorneys and predatory guardians use to plunder the wealth of the elderly, destroying their remaining years:

Kevin Gallagher had a trusted, long-standing pact with his beloved parents. When the time was “right” he would make arrangements for their safe return to Maine where they would reside in assisted living. That “right time” came unexpectedly one day after Sunday services when Robert and Elsa Gallagher became slightly disoriented in traffic when they happen chanced upon orange cones in a road detour. Kevin and Lisa, delighted to hear that their parents were ready to journey home, began making all the necessary arrangements. Kevin even phoned his estranged Orlando-based sister, Lori, and asked if she would simply “telephone” Mom and Dad during the interim. The sister, however, consulted the Yellow Pages and telephoned a company, Geriatric Care Management, that specializes in elder care. . . . [p. 31]

Within 48 hours, a woman armed with a court order and accompanied by law enforcement, announced she was the “emergency temporary guardian” while she and her crew forcibly removed Kevin’s parents from their home and placed them in separate nursing facilities. Kevin’s first notification of this was a phone call from his mother, crying, her speech slurred from forced drugging. The time had become ripe for quick psychiatric evaluations of both parents. Suddenly the “emergency temporary guardian” was the “permanent, plenary guardian” – over both Elsa and Robert. The fleecing and the feasting began. Instead of having his parents closer to him, Kevin’s next 3 years were filled with frantic scrambles to find Florida attorneys who would or could make the nightmare stop. The guardian hotly contested the Gallaghers’ desires to be together and was rewarded with generous attorney fees from the Gallaghers’ assets, courtesy of the probate judge. Eventually, once the assets were gone, the nightmare did stop. When his parents finally arrived in Maine with a single suitcase, Kevin found that inside it were “tattered clothes with the names of other people in Magic Marker inside the clothes. Everything they had owned – even their clothes – had been sold or trashed by the guardian.” Elsa and Robert died soon after their move to Maine. [pp. 31-32]

Larsen, the editor of GUARDIANSHIP, is a businessman whose family experienced similar frustration and despair in probate court. He states that “elder cleansing,” a term coined by attorney Kenneth Ditkowsky, “has escalated since the last Governmental Accountability Office’s report published in 2010.” With additional inspiration from Charles Pascal’s interview on View From the Bunker, Larsen organized contributors to address the GAO’s request for a summary, resulting in this unique resource book for families, citizen activists and the general public, not to mention journalists and attorneys. It is written from the point of view of family members who have given their all to stop the torture, thievery, and often the killing of their elderly. This important reference work adds to what is already known about the greed of corrupt judges, attorneys, guardians and psycho-social hucksters on display in other judicial venues.

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