The award-winning 2017 short documentary “Edith+Eddie” by Kartemquin Films and directed by Laura Checkoway follows the story of America’s oldest interracial couple whose love story is interrupted by a family feud and an administrative probate hearing. The movie highlights the loss of all human and constitutional rights as well as loss of all property rights once Edith is placed into an involuntary guardianship by a probate judge.
What can happen if you fail to settle a family dispute in a guardianship hearing in St. Louis and St. Louis County?
Once you take the matter to a probate judge, you risk losing your loved one to the system. The probate judge will appoint a third-party guardian, regardless of whether advance directives (durable power of attorneys, health care proxies, wills, trusts, etc.) are in place or not. The elderly ward is punished because his/her family “can’t get along.” Your loved one will lose all constitutional and fundamental rights (right to vote and the right to marry) as well as control of all property, life savings, personal treasures.
And that is not the worst of it: You will lose all input into your loved one’s care and the right to know of his/her medical condition. You will become powerless to help your loved one if the guardian decides to send him/her to a nursing home. Remember who is going to profit from the guardianship/conservatorship of your loved one: the guardian, the other fiduciaries, and your attorney.