Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Does Guardianship Fraud and Abuse Happen in Washington State?

1. First, usually an unsuspecting family member files for guardianship at the advice of an attorney or APS who convinced them this is the best way for them to help their loved in need or it could be family member or friend concerned that an elderly person’s assets are at risk who gets an attorney to help them file for guardianship. There are also cases where a professional guardian goes trolling for clients through the courts, a non-profit organization, or a nursing home that may initiate the petition for guardianship.

2. Once a person is placed into involuntary guardianship they will lose all of their civil rights and essentially face civil death. They cannot vote, marry, contract, divorce, decide where they live, what medical care they can get, what drugs they can take or refuse to take and even if or when they will die. All of these decisions are assigned to a stranger in most cases who will run the person’s life.

3. Most importantly to the perpetrators of financial abuse, the person they will protect looses complete control of their money and property. The Guardian or the Conservator gains full control over every single dime of money that belongs to the incapacitated person and they don’t even have to tell the person that they are controlling their money or what they are doing with it.

4. This carte blanche handing over of an incapacitated person’s money to guardians appears from many of the stories we have heard to be a key component behind the motivation to seek out lucrative guardianship cases of elderly persons with assets. It also appears to be the primary reason why many family members and heirs are not be awarded the petition they originally filed for. After all the heirs and loved ones would most likely object to the fleecing of the estate that everyone know is to come.

5. What come next are lots and lots of bills from attorney and guardians racking up enormous fees all to be paid from their newly acquired wards estate without his or her knowledge. The professional guardians will never object to the attorney fees that are higher than a kite on a windy day. The Judges are routinely rubber stamping anything that comes across their desk. So why would anyone appoint a family member to be a guardian when it is so very easy to steal the estate?

6. What is happening to the family members is equally damaging. Innocent and unsuspecting family members are accused of anything under the sun from being thieves to greedy kids to elder abusers to criminal all to keep them at bay and prevent the court from appointing them as the guardian. Hundreds of family members suffer for years from the litigation abuse in this system and from the character assassination and outright defamation, slander and liable that flies in the face of justice.

7. The trick is that the family member “has no standing” or that is what the Court will say so they must endure the horrific abuse that destroys their lives, their family lives and their lifelong friendships. Most friends cannot believe the courts are doing this and believe that the family member did something wrong. While grandma may be in a nursing home suffering from dementia and unaware of what is happening to her estate her children are being lynched by the Court.

8. Why doesn’t the family member speak up more is a question that is asked. Well many do but the guardians have the most powerful weapon to use to silence the family members and it is a fact that many who speak up about the silent crime are ostracized by the court and denied the right to even visit their own loved ones.

9. It is this fear and abuse that silences the voices of many who would fight if they could until it is too late and their loved one is gone. By that time the family member is so damaged and torn up by the legal abuse and guardianship abuse that they don’t even have the energy to fight back or speak out. Many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and the aftereffects of the abuse and many can barely speak of the harm personally done to them and their loved ones. Others live a silent life filled with a silent killing rage and suffer physical and emotionally from the permanent scars.

Washington State Certified Professional Guardianship Board - A Conflict of Interest?

This is a list of board members overseeing guardianships under the State of Washington.  Many of the members have their own guardianship companies.  Why does Washington State Courts allow for-profit guardianship companies to serve and run this important board for the the State of Washington?   Does the Governor and the Attorney General for Washington State feel that such conflicts of interests are okay?


GAO Report to U.S. Senate on Guardianships: Cases of Financial Exploitation, Neglect and Abuse of Seniors

This is the website for the United States Government Accountability Office Report to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, September 2010 on Guardianships: Cases of Financial Exploitation, Neglect and Abuse of Seniors. Why hasn't the Certified Professional Guardianship Board addressed the issues raised in this report concerning guardianship exploitation, neglect and abuse in the State of Washington? Is there a conflict of interest in allowing attorneys who run their own guardianship companies run the guardianship board for the State of Washington? Does the Governor or the Attorney General for the State of Washington care about this important GAO report?

Neglect of vulnerable adult by guardian

This is a picture of an 88 year old female veteran whose court appointed guardian is Pam Privette of Sound Guardianship. This veteran suffered the agony of a broken arm for three days before she was taken to an emergency room for treatment. This picture was taken three months later. The arm was never set properly and this veteran remains in pain. Family members have contacted state authorities with no response.