Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Linda M. Banta & Laura Spease, Conservatorship, Abuse, Berkeley, California,

AVOID Conservator LINDA BANTA & Attorney LAURA SPEASE if you care about your loved ones at all! In fact, do WHATEVER you can to prevent a loved one being placed under a guardianship or conservatorship!

Some years ago my elderly parents were forced into a California conservatorship (known as guardianship in most states) by a sibling when they had become unable to care for themselves. Because I lived out of state California law prohibited me from being the conservator, so I agreed to the conservatorship because I innocently believed that the county Court would oversee how my parents’ estate was spent carefully, assure responsible management of their health care and emotional well-being.

NOTHING could be further from the truth!

Linda M. Banta came highly recommended by an attorney, MARGARET HAND, who I now realize is in on this business of taking the elderly for all they've got while disregarding their stated wishes and emotional needs. At the time the Court allowed Linda Banta to take 1% of the estate each year so she had the properties appraised at high value.

Now the Court rules dictate she charge $115/hour [which equals $239,200/year] and she is certainly not very competent at handling many of the tasks her fiduciary role requires. She doesn't even oversee the care herself, but hires Geriatric "Care" Managers, one of whom, AMY PIERI, charges $115/hr; another, CHRIS HENDRICKSON is also paid at such lucrative rates. Neither Linda Banta or LAURA SPEASE have any respect for family who actually CARE about my parents and Laura Spease even violatd my rights when her office fail to mail notice that the court requires that would provide me knowledge and the ability to respond to their actions, as required by law.

They restrict family visits despite my parents' BEGGING to be able to see me more. I'll spare you the details as there are THOUSANDS of stories exactly like this across the country. In fact, the Senate is holding hearings soon, so make a report to the Government Accounting Office if you know of any. Call Sandra Moore at 202-512-4910 at GAO.

If you are considering guardianship or are already involved with one that is abusive, look at websites such as or Janet Phelan’s work on to discover how the courts are allowing incredible exploitation of seniors and the disabled.

Find another alternative -- a trusted family friend, a cousin, ANYONE who is not a part of this racket. Their main predatory interest is MONEY, so if you or anyone you care about has substantial assets (over $100K), BEWARE!

I have protested the excessive expenditures in every aspect of Linda Banta’s work, but the Court totally disregards all my statements. In many states is it not necessary to have anything but hearsay to "prove" incompetence.

Texas legislators are being confronted by the fact that courts there hold secret hearings where the involved parties are not notified and not present. No, I'm not paranoid.

This is all true. Most people can't believe this gulag is happening in this country.

Sadly, I, too, was once Innocent.



Anonymous said...

America’s global standing is in tatters due to a perception of unbridled American greed and charges that the United States hypocritically advanced democ­racy abroad while compromising democratic values at home and violating even the most basic of human values.

Sherry said...

I wouldn't have believed that all of this was possible either; until of course, it happened to my family.

You're right about no proof needed. All that has to be mentioned is that there are "concerns" and that is enough to ruin a senior citizen's life.

How can all of this still be happening? Why hasn't AARP done more to stop these abuse conservatorship/guardianships?

Anonymous said...

In my mother's case in an Ohio probate court, both a guardian of the estate (conservator) and a separate guardian of the person were appointed. Two of my siblings hired an attorney to force my mother into a nursing home through use of the probate court. That attorney then became the lawyer working on behalf of the guardianship while at the same time continuing to serve the interests of my two siblings. Both guardians were appointed by the magistrate who oversees my mother's case. The same attorney also serves the guardian of the estate (conservator) as his lawyer. The guardian of the person has a separate attorney who was brought into the case due to knowing the first attorney. All of these individuals are paid from my mother's estate and have been for 8 years. My mother lost all of her rights the instant that the guardianship was approved by the magistrate. The process took about 10 minutes. I attempted to enhance my mother's quality of life. Both attorneys, both guardians and the siblings that initiated the court action argued against enhancing my mother's quality of life. For that one three hour hearing, they were paid about $20,000 which was approved by the court from my mother's estate. I was threatened with court action if I file any additional objections. I requested a third party independent audit of my mother's case. The magistrate denied my request. The amount of money drained from my mother's estate is $500,000 to several million dollars depending on how or if funds were ever invested. I don't know the exact amount because I've been completely cut off from information. The guardian of the estate who also happens to be my cousin ignores my emails and has his attorney respond to me basically to deter me from asking questions. Of course, the attorney charges my mother's estate. My mother is not permitted outside of the confines of the nursing home by court (guardian)directive. Family members are not permitted to take her outside - even immediately in front of the nursing home. Imagine being completely controlled by a stranger who can legally spend all of your money while restricting everything that you want to do including spending time with family members and knowing that there isn't a thing that you can do to change it. That's what guardianship is like in the probate court.

Anonymous said...

2010-05-26 07:13:03
Oh, the magistrate also stated to me in court, "Ethics don't apply to the probate court".