The road ahead: Corrupt guardianship system needs reform

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My family was one of the many families victimized by a predatory guardian/executor business working under shield of secrecy in New Mexico – i.e. the legal mandate to “seal” all fiduciary and medical records of protected persons. I testified before one of the first hearings of the Commission ordered by (N.M. Supreme Court) Justice Charles Daniels.

So far, the absolute and vault-like sealing of any records pertaining to the elderly, infirm and disabled has militated against their well-being. The “sealing” provision of the law protects only malfeasant guardians and conservators, not those who are the legal “protected persons.” Those persons are actually hostages to a corrupt system, a corrupt system which we have the opportunity to reform.

The sole financial accounting my mother’s predatory guardian/executor performed was an annual, two-page, woefully general letter to the judge, who was not an accountant and lacked the skill or time to really analyze it.

The reforms recommended by the commission will cost an initial outlay of $1 million. But Ayudando allegedly embezzled and Desert State Life Management did embezzle at least $4 million from their clients. These victims were veterans, the disabled, SSI recipients: the poorest of the poor. Their funds will never be restored. How much will it cost the state to support them in their destitution?

U.S.News & World Report (in its) Nov. 21 issue reported that chief economist Jon Clark of the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee said the state’s recently depleted savings had substantially grown, and that the state had set aside an estimated $500 million as of the start of the fiscal year on July 1. The article further said that although New Mexico’s state finances had been hit hard by a 2015 downturn in the oil sector, we are enjoying a rapid turnaround.

The guardianship/executorship reform would cost only 1/500th of New Mexico’s set-aside funding. But it would impact a great segment of the population. A flood of Baby Boomers are getting older and will be at the mercy of predatory guardians and conservators very soon.

There are many demands for money at this time.

To finish reading this article

By David Disponett on 01/05/2018 10:30 AM
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