Social services and elder care: We can’t afford not to pay for them.

By David Disponett on 01/15/2018 11:00 AM
The Kentucky General Assembly faces tough choices as it builds our commonwealth’s budget. Social services, which are already stretched thin, should not be on the chopping block. We have a moral imperative to care for the frail, sick and less fortunate in our society. However, some might argue that caregiving should be the domain of the private sector, not the public one. In our ex...
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New court rules Jan. 1 regarding guardianships of vulnerable Marylanders

By David Disponett on 01/12/2018 11:00 AM
ANNAPOLIS — Changes to court rules that help safeguard the personal and financial well-being of vulnerable Marylanders will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The changes will apply to court-appointed guardians, guardianships, and attorneys. Guardians are appointed by the court to make personal or financial decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to manage those matters because of age, dise...
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Commission on guardianship finalizing report

By David Disponett on 01/10/2018 11:00 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A 16-member commission appointed to find ways to improve the state’s ailing guardian/conservator system finished its work Friday with a final report expected to be presented to the state Supreme Court next week. A key recommendation – the purchase of a $600,000 Minnesota computer software program to detect fraud in conservator reports – was revised ...
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The road ahead: Corrupt guardianship system needs reform

By David Disponett on 01/05/2018 10:30 AM
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-l...
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Politician loses fight to get guardianship over her husband and his money

By David Disponett on 01/03/2018 11:06 AM
Broward Clerk of Court Brenda D. Forman has failed in her quest to convince a judge to declare her 71-year-old husband senile and name her as his guardian. A committee of three independent examiners concluded that Howard C. Forman “is not incapacitated in any respect,” Judge Mark Speiser determined this month, dismissing the case. The order notes that the panel of experts agree...
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Metro Detroit adults under court guardianship put in unlicensed group homes

By David Disponett on 12/29/2017 11:41 AM
But after a family friend told the Oakland County Probate Court that Plummer was having memory loss, court records show a Judge appointed a Southfield attorney as a co-guardian. Charlene Glover-Hogan is a Public Administrator, a lawyer appointed by Michigan’s Attorney General to handle probate estates after someone dies.    But several judges in metro Detroit like to app...
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Advocates Promote Guardianship Alternatives for Adults With Disabilities

By David Disponett on 12/27/2017 11:38 AM
Janie Desmond was nervous the first time she boarded a train in Durham headed for Greensboro. From her wheelchair, the train seemed big, loud and unfamiliar. “I kind of wanted to convince my mom to take me to school, but I had to take the train,” Desmond said describing her freshman year UNC Greensboro. “There were a bunch of people on there that I didn’t know.” ...
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Learn about Kentucky guardianships laws

By David Disponett on 12/18/2017 11:00 AM
A guardianship is a legal relationship between a capable adult (a guardian) and his ward, either a minor (a person under 18 years old) or a legally disabled adult. A guardianship provides the guardian with the decision-making authority and responsibility over the personal affairs of the ward to include daily activities and health care decisions. If you have a child over 18 years of age or an ...
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Kentucky’s health agency could be held in contempt after delaying a woman’s urgent eye surgery

By David Disponett on 12/13/2017 11:05 AM
A Jefferson District Court judge is considering whether to hold the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in contempt of court for delaying urgently needed surgery for a severely disabled woman in its care. Judge David P. Bowles had planned to hold a hearing Friday on his motion to hold the state agency in contempt of court but agreed to postpone it until Jan. 19 to give the state, ...
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Families Offer Praise, Ideas for Reforming NC’s Guardianship Process

By David Disponett on 12/11/2017 11:08 AM
A week before Shawn Stead’s 12th birthday, he was riding a scooter in his Garner neighborhood when a Ford F-150 truck hit him. He suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), spending the first three weeks at WakeMed hospital in Raleigh unconscious. Doctors said he would likely die or be brain dead. Shawn’s mother, Kristine Stead, said she needed hope of a better outcome. &ldquo...
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New reforms in guardian law presented

By David Disponett on 12/08/2017 11:00 AM
New Mexico could “leapfrog” into a dramatic new way of placing people under legal guardianships and conservatorships under recently unveiled national reforms. The model reforms, crafted by the national Uniform Law Commission for states to adopt around the country, are being considered by a New Mexico guardianship task force and a state legislative committee. If enacted by the L...
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Who is guarding the guardians?

By David Disponett on 12/06/2017 11:00 AM
I talked yesterday about two bills before the legislature that would make it more difficult for hospitals to honor “do not resuscitate” orders, especially if an individual was unconscious and their stated desire to allow someone to die was opposed by a family member. This made me wonder about who legally has the right to make decisions in such cases, especially when there is some ...
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Mom said she was drugged, abused under Michigan probate guardianship

By David Disponett on 11/27/2017 11:00 AM
A Farmington Hills mom says she was left to die inside a group home. Now, she is telling her story to warn others about how quickly anyone could go from living a normal life, to having their life taken over--- legally, through a court-ordered guardianship.    “I had no rights. Anything they said, anywhere they put me, I couldn’t say no,” Niki Disner told...
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Ruling ends effort to find $400K missing in Savitt guardianship

By David Disponett on 11/24/2017 11:50 AM
Attorneys Webb Millsaps and Donna Greenspan Solomon spent years trying to right the wrong done to senior Frances Berkowitz.   Millsaps and Solomon recovered $835,000 they say was stolen from Berkowitz before deciding to seek the protection of a guardianship, fearing further fraud. Instead, they found themselves fighting controversial professional guardian Elizabeth “Be...
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What Is Guardianship?

By David Disponett on 11/17/2017 11:00 AM
magine you’ve worked hard all of your life and suddenly you are deemed incapacitated and are stripped of your dignity and basic individual rights. You have been abducted from your home, isolated from your family, and “placed” somewhere to be medicated while your assets are being pillaged. The authorities that should be protecting you are the ones committing these heinous acts. ...
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Is the Adult Guardianship and Probate Court System Being Used to Exploit Elderly People for Profit?

By David Disponett on 10/23/2017 11:00 AM
It is a nightmare that many families have faced over the last few years, but one that has gone on mostly without public notice. An elderly parent or loved one is suddenly stripped of his or her rights and forced into a court guardianship program that opens them up to financial exploitation, sometimes siphoning their life savings and estates until there is nothing left. Families desperate to find...
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Metro Detroit woman says probate guardianship case is tearing family apart

By David Disponett on 10/20/2017 11:00 AM
Total strangers – lawyers who double as public officials – are taking over the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our community – senior citizens and others who are disabled.   Several Metro Detroit families say they’ve now lost all control over their parents’ health care decisions and their finances.    911 Call: “911 what...
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Guardianship of Incapacitated or Disabled Persons

By David Disponett on 10/13/2017 3:56 PM
A guardianship is a crucial legal tool that allows one person or entity to make decisions for another (the ward). Courts are tasked with establishing guardianships, and they typically appoint guardians in instances of incapacity or disability. Suppose, for example, that a person is put into a coma from a car accident. Unless that person has a durable power of attorneyand medical direct...
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Problems with Guardianship Abuse Leading to Calls for Reform

By David Disponett on 10/02/2017 2:03 PM
A growing problem with adult guardianship abuse is giving rise to calls for reform of the system. Vulnerable elderly can get caught in the guardianship system, being harmed and exploited by the very process that is supposed to protect them. A guardian is someone appointed by a court to make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual ("ward"). The guardianship process us...
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What's the Difference Between Guardianship and Power of Attorney?

By David Disponett on 09/27/2017 2:12 PM
A: A power of attorney and a guardianship are tools that help someone act in your stead if you become incapacitated. With a power of attorney, you choose who you want to act for you. In a guardianship proceeding, the court chooses who will act as guardian. Power of attorney A power of attorney is an estate planning document that allows a person you appoint to act in place of you f...
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