Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Why Americans Need Guardians

by Ray Fernandez

According to studies the nation's school children over the last 30 years proportion of children reading below the basic level has hovered around 35% with 70% never attain reading proficiency (NAEP, 2007). This translates into adults go into midlife poorly equipped to take care of their parents or make crucial; decisions for them.

According to study by the National Guardianship Association, titled "Emerging Trends , The Relative Are Restless" Download here=>> Document.pdf by Terry Hammond, Executive Director and Steven D. Fields and presented to the 16th Annual Probate Bar is clear on this.

"there is something wrong with the relatives who are willing to serve."
Yes, the inferences from reading the report is that there is something wrong with the American public, they are dysfunctional, ungrateful, and disgruntled and by default totally un-qualified to take care of their parents.

The report makes it clear that there are Laws that prohibits anyone taking care of their parents that "are felons; those indebted to proposed wards; those involved in lawsuits with proposed wards; those asserting adverse claims to proposed wards; or those whose conduct is notoriously bad."

Any one who grew up with parents know that we will always be indebted to them for everything they did for us, bought us that first car, sent us to school, I bet most of you never paid your parents back! the laws are clear on this anyone indebted to their parents can not take care of them!

Furthermore anyone whose conduct is bad is also excluded! and all of you are guilty of this, just ask your parents guardian!

Unlike the majority of the American public, attorneys are highly trained and educated and hence better qualified to take of Americans as they age, they are better qualified to read medicine labels, discuss with the doctors which drugs are better to keep them docile and overall decide on which Medical treatments and or Nursing Homes are better for them.

Guardian attorneys know that you are not qualified to pay their bills, that's why they must do it for you ! Guardian attorneys take time away from practicing lucrative law practices to take care of your old senile folks, spending time taking care of old decrepit people is not what attorneys went to law school for, so the American public should not complaint when they serve as Guardians and protect these old folks from people like you.

The report also brings out "State laws, however, don't prohibit these same disqualified relatives from griping about everything the professional guardian does or charges to "their loved one" and "their expected inheritance." Maybe they should perhaps we could band together and help the NGA lobby for laws that prohibit these "disqualified relatives" from gripping about seeing your parents legacy being whittled down to nothing in legal fees.

These highly educated folks, oftentimes have had to take psychology courses in school and they know well that the "disqualified relatives" are often motivated to protect an "Inheritance" that they ill deserve.

These ungrateful folks often think that because they stood by their parents through health and through illness, through good times and through hard times that they deserve their inheritance more than the professional guardians who went to years of grueling superior studies. It just isn't so.

So come on people give Guardian attorneys a break, don't expect them to work for nothing in these tough economic times doing these un appreciated tasks, in Clara's G. Fernandez case the guardian fee was $400/hr. for things like "reviewing Clara's travel plans" leaving messages on her dysfunctional family ans. machine and don't forget the Guardian's attorney, every Guardian must have an attorney, even if he is an attorney himself. Guardian =$400+Guardian's attorney$450.hr = 850/hr

So stop griping, you don't have any right to complaint what so ever, you are completely out of place, be grateful that the guardians allow you to see your parents at all, and if you get anything that's left over from their inheritance see it as a plus, because you really don't deserve to get anything at all.

Write Terry Hammond Executive Director of the National Guardianship Association here >> ngaexecutivedirector@guardianship.org
and Steven D. Fields NGA President =>> ngapresident@guardianship.org
and let them know that we are not all unappreciative of the humane work they are doing for the American people and that you are proud that the NGA is successful in turning negative guardianship publicity articles around.

2009 A Guardian for Every Old American


Anonymous said...

This is like the taxicab drivers requiring everyone to hire a
chauffeur at $1,000/hr and only drives off a cliff, because people
have accdents. We have decided as a people on a public policy that the
benefit to society of letting everyone have an opportunity to drive
themselves and the liberty it provides the general good of society
greatly outweigh the risks of accidents. That is a value judgment we
as a society have settled. The same goes for families and their
disabled relatives. There are always risks. They cannot all be
litigated in probate. Our work is NOT so much fixing the problems of
families as much as defending appropriate public policy against

Anonymous said...

I think we just need reasonable laws and due process - a big part of which is requiring ethical professional conduct. Commenting on our state's rarely enforced elder theft statute, a retired judge I spoke to observed that “theft is theft”. I have always emphasized how the important safeguards written into present law need to be fleshed out by producing case law. The source of our problem is that laws and rules are systematically ignored. I'm not a big fan of enacting new laws which will also be ignored. They are merely a political dodge. Too much specialization of “elder law” makes it seem abstract, exotic and remote. Theft is theft of which elder exploitation is a kind.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe for a minute that the g's or the court really perceives the family as unsuitable - I think when there is money involved they simply hand their ski mask on that convenient hook - and without evidentiary standards and with the built in bias, the court accepts it.

A common scenario is a family where the siblings dispute who should care for the parent - not motivated by money or financial gain - but simply believing that their care would be best. The problem is that a guardianship sound like the perfect solution - they don't know ahead of time what it involves. Once the g is in the door - there is no removing him or her. A better solution would be educating the participants as to what a g involves and the difficulty of terminating it - and mandatory noncourt mediation.

Anonymous said...

However, there are two problems as I see it:

1. The incapacity process - and the absence of constitutional protections. There is no way around it, the legislature HAS to take out the "may" and "should" from current laws and substitute "must." And that "must" needs teeth!

2. Courts are set up for litigating - not for monitoring. They send folks to prison and to drug rehab, but they don't monitor the prisons or rehab programs. Nationwide we are seeing the judges use the rubberstamp in place of intelligent monitoring of g programs - and relying on their bias in favor of court appointed colleagues - the g's and their attorneys. As is, the g program is nothing more than a welfare program for parasitical attorneys. We need to establish a monitoring system that resides OUTSIDE OF THE COURTROOM and is composed of medical and financial experts - not attorneys. They need to do the monitoring and the g and the family should be prohibited from bringing attorneys. The monitoring system could operate from the executive branch or from the other gov. agencies. I personally would like to see it operate right next to the attn general's office - so they larcenous g's can be turned immediately to that office fo r prosecution.

Two states - and I wish I could remember which they are - are experimenting with getting the monitoring out of the courts (that means everything beyond the determination of incapacity.) I will try to find them.

Anonymous said...

An intrinsic problem I see in any system is the financial self-interest inherent in any fiduciary capacity. One idea that recurs in my mind is that if, as a last resort, a person must be deprived of all essential civil rights he should lose privacy rights too, so claims of "privacy" are not used to conceal conversion and embezzlement. Maybe this isn't important in your and the others' experience, but in my Dad's case it would have been and remains crucial.

Anonymous said...

In primitive Louisiana, guardianship is relatively rare. Our attorneys commonly bilk vulnerable clients using less formal tools such as the power-of-attorney. Here is an example:


Please notice that ethical consideration had to be “prompted by the airing of a national television exposé on the topic of elderly abused by their children.” Actually, the abusers were not the children but the attorney, the complaint was made long before the broadcast and the exposé provided no evidence not available in the original complaint made years before.

In my late father's case, an estranged step-son used the opportunity of his mother's death to secure an attorney as a hired-gun to rob my disabled father. Her various confused roles included: estate attorney, judge-elect, judge, witness, temporary guardian, etc. Her job was to defeat my Dad's and Step-mom's prenuptial agreement by whatever means necessary.

Early on, I made a disciplinary complaint summarized in the background information presented in the new poll I'm presently working on at:


It is quite fair; nothing exculpatory has been omitted and a great deal of aggravating information has been neglected. Incidentally, the official answer to my poll is “no” or possibly “huh?” But my father did not have benefit of a national television exposé to prompt his protection. I correctly predicted therein how abandoning my father would precipitate his unnatural death. Like Letellier's client-victim above, my father died, suspiciously, without benefit of ethical legal representation.

Mr. Hammond's pretense that our elderly loved ones lives can be safely entrusted to lawyers is obscene.