The crux of the problem seems to be that the State allows guardians to profit from their arrangement. It's ludicrous that courts enforce guardian's financial claims against people who are presumed to be incapable of independence.
Edit - it looks like April Park was doing things illegally. She's facing >200 felony charges:
The next step after POA is getting it filed with the banks so that you can monitor everything that happens and intervene as needed.
If you are said parent, which of the kids do you absolutely trust to never ever screw you over no matter how much incentive there is and no matter how hard a times they fall on?
That's what I'm worried about when getting old(er). You give your trust to an amazing person in their 40's with the best of lives. They'll take care of you. Then they fall on hard times 10 years later and oh hey look they have power of attorney over all this money maybe if they help themselves juuuuuust a little bit ...
When I was 10 my dad drained my and my sister's savings account that way. Just a little, just to get over the hump in his business, he'll put it all back later of course. 20 years later and afaik he still hasn't.
Having access to other people's money when you have none of your own is terrible. I don't know if I'd trust myself with that, let alone somebody else.
 of course it wasn't really our savings, think of it more like a college fund my parents started for each kid when they were born
From the purely optimization viewpoint your "never ever" is too strict. This just has to be less likely and/or less damaging (however you want to choose a utility function) than losing your marbles and getting into a professional con artist's net.
Everyone's case is different, but I personally would never take my parents money for my own goals; same for my siblings and their kids. Maybe it is just my experience, but I grew up in a strong culture of "kids first"; parents are always sacrificing something for kids and that was seen as normal. If my parents had money and knew that my kids were hungry I have absolutely no doubt that they would push it to feed their grandkids before I ask.
Not to criticize your post (I think you are being unfairly downvoted), but mentally running a check on how would I feel today if I were in my 80s, totally incompetent, and my kids wanted to steal my money. Heck, in that case I do not know what I would live for -- kids, take whatever I still have, use it for your family and put me out of my misery.
In cultures where children are expected to take care of their aging parents, it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that the child who ends up taking care of them gets to inherit most of the estate.
Why? It's one thing when they're children, sure if I had kids I'd do everything for them (which is why I don't have them). But when they're in their 40s or 50s and still trying to mooch off me? Screw that.
My mom has one brother, and I'm an only child, so I will (probably) indirectly inherit a decent amount of his wealth. And yet, I couldn't care less.
Yes, an inheritance is nice to receive. But I'd give it up in a heartbeat if it meant having a person you love around for another 10+ years.
Yes, as per my original post where I specifically said the hypothetical person in question takes the money for their own needs, not for the needs of the person whom they have power of attorney over.
My tax lawyer told me a story about how some guy, who was appointed by the courts to handle the affairs of older people who were unable to, abused said privilege and went ahead and purchased himself a new luxury car, furniture etc using funds from the people he was supposed to protect. I don't get how people end up doing things like that..
But not something I'd be worried about when it comes to family. I think I can trust them enough for that.
The part that worries me is when people get pressed between a rock and a hard place. It is exceptionally difficult to keep your hands out of the honey jar sitting in your lap when you're starving.
When my grandfather died a year ago, I found out that he and my grandmother had set up a special CD for my brother to get when they both die, but not one for me. My response was basically "Well, he has a wife and two kids, and he's a teacher. I'm single, working in IT, and living overseas. They obviously felt that he needs it more than I do, and they're probably right."
None of us are perfect, but a majority are still decent.
Well, presumably the parents knew how they raised their children and what examples they set.
And I really mean it by examples -- children pay a lot more attention to what their parents do than what they claim to do. E.g. I think I'd be fine trusting my future kids if they see me responsibly taking care of my parents. If not though, all bets are off.
My kids are not adults yet. I hope my feelings towards them won't change as they mature. It will be my own greatest failing if somehow I lose my love for them and I won't be happy no matter how much wealth I have left.
Is this a typo? At least in my state minors cannot own anything -- their guardians do. Therefore it would have never been yours to begin with. Even then, who is 10 and has enough money to float a business?
I don't know how much was in there, but say my parents were putting in $10 every month. By the time I was 10 that would be around $1200. In a country where median income back then was probably around $15000 that's 1 month's salary. Plenty to tie one over when they're low on cash and see a paid invoice just around the corner.
I'm sure he did it with the best of intentions and with full intent to put it back in just a short while.
My point is that when you are strapped for funds and you have full legal access to somebody else's funds, it can be hard to resist.
Of course he should have used that money, it was his. Not to mention you most likely benefitted quite a bit from his business surviving. If that concept is not something he explained to you then he failed as parent in other ways.
The problem isn’t that he took the money. The problem is how he did it (unilaterally and without discussion with other people whose money it also was)
And his business did not survive so I didn’t benefit from that either.
So yeah, how was that good for me again?
My 3yo niece has about 2000AUD in her bank account, from various gifts through her short life so far.
Something like "X has my PoA, if Y agrees that its necessary."
Why is someone entitled to control accumulated wealth after they lose their faculty?
Most parents live for their children. If a parent doesn't want to give wealth to their children, that's fine; the parent can give wealth to their grandchildren in trust, or anyone on the world they choose.
WTF. It isn't ridiculous to respect the fact that unless explicitly given to you, other people’s property is NOT yours and this applies to your parents too. It’s amazing that this has to be disputed at all but it explains why one sees some people with families going beyond will-making to planning for divestiture of their wealth to occur while alive later on.
Giving a gift is great. Taking something that doesn't belong to you is theft.
The number of otherwise good people I've heard refer to "their money" when actually referring to their parents' assets is heartbreaking.
Exactly my point. I understand what you are saying - but in conversation, my reaction is much more like the parent comment, it sounds like an entitled POV. Many people who say such things, in my anecdotal experience, feel they have a right to the wealth, and may not have agreement.
Not directly answering why they're "entitled to", but why they'd want to - they will (likely) still be alive for quite some time, and their quality of life will depend heavily on the resources they have available.
The noble-sounding term "public service" should be reserved for unpaid volunteers working for the public good. Instead public service now means a government job with a large salary, easy working hours, early retirement, etc.
1. That's horrifying, especially considering their daughter was minutes away. How was she not involved or at the bare minimum notified? This does sound like a kidnapping.
2. The couple and daughter had no relationship with April Parks (the guardian) prior, how did she get involved? More importantly, how did she get letters from the couple's doctor?
3. How was Parks allowed to hold a hearing without involving at minimum the emergency contacts for the couple? The doctor would have had that information.
4. Once underway, it appears that further hearings, costs, etc can be billed to the estate. How f*d is that?
> O’Malley described a 2010 case in which Parks, after receiving a tip from a social worker, began “cold-calling” rehabilitation centers, searching for a seventy-nine-year-old woman, Patricia Smoak, who had nearly seven hundred thousand dollars and no children. Parks finally found her, but Smoak’s physician wouldn’t sign a certificate of incapacity. “The doctor is not playing ball,” Parks wrote to her lawyer. She quickly found a different doctor to sign the certificate, and Norheim approved the guardianship. (Both Parks and Norheim declined to speak with me.)
> Last March, Parks and her lawyer, along with her office manager and her husband, were indicted for perjury and theft, among other charges. The indictment was narrowly focussed on their double billings and their sloppy accounting, but, in a detailed summary of the investigation, Jaclyn O’Malley, who led the probe for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, made passing references to the “collusion of hospital social workers and medical staff” who profited from their connection to Parks. At Parks’s grand-jury trial, her assistant testified that she and Parks went to hospitals and attorneys’ offices for the purpose of “building relationships to generate more client leads.”
But I agree with you. Having lived in this country for 10 years, I am still shocked by the audacity of these kinds of legal loophole scammers and also amazed that we don't see more retaliatory murders when the legal system fails, considering how easy it is to get a gun in most of these states.
You're amazed that most Americans do not resort to murder when the legal system fails them?
That's why we have appeals courts. To appeal decisions by judges that you believe have failed you.
Where do you come from if you don't mind my asking?
The right answer to those failures is to pressure the system to change, as this newspaper article is helping to do.
If we are going to assume that the government is always right and there is no reason for violence ever, then we should just do away with the second amendment. I dont think that amendment is super useful in the age of tanks, jets and nukes, but the idea of violent revolt against unjust rule is still there
I agree. In this particular case though, I wouldn't blame the victim if they'd consider kneecapping a proportionate response.
Preying on the weak like that is deeply, deeply subhuman.
That's why we created a justice system, because that mode of justice is not a good thing.
The justice system failed them, so logically, they'd be forced to go back to putting people in holes.
Many many years ago, a jury in Tennessee disagreed with your first claim, and literally took the law into their own hands in the courtroom against the government as they watched a persons rights get wholesale violated. That jury was flat-out exonerated IIRC. So there's legal precedent against your first claim and a good inherent pressure for your second claim. People would be far less likely to violate the law so egregiously if they knew that people could just kill them and walk away without a second thought of jail time.
Almost every paragraph has some completely f*d up situation. I can't believe this isn't flagged as a conflict of interest.
Fleecing old people must be a great business.
As a marginally civilized society, we have dealt with it - it involved international tribunals, nazi hunters, quick trials and bullets between the eyes after which gold dealers as if by magic were not taking gold teeth and art dealers were not taking magically re-appearing artworks.
this is the type of law and regulation that only gets changed if something outlandish gets championed by the local press or they step on the wrong person' toes. seeing how this goes down I would not be surprised if people like Parks hire detectives to dig up possible "clients" just so they know who is an easy take.
Most certainly needs to be changed and those participating need to be held accountable.
Facilitating fraud like this is blatantly unethical: if only 'legal ethics' actually stood for anything worthwhile
In the camps, the people were systematically starved and beaten to maintain their helplessness. Even so, some did try to rebel and were killed.
The people who heard whispers about what had happened couldn't believe it - it was too vile to contemplate.
The parallels between that unspeakable crime and this story are:
- People who have become marginalized (our society does not exactly honor the elderly, except - sometimes - relatives).
- Preying on unsuspecting people with their guards down.
- State-sanctioned abuse (if unintentional) in the name of protection.
- Victims who lacked the mental capacity and physical stamina to understand what was happening and to resist.
- "Somebody else's problem"; disinterest in the plight of the marginalized people who some see as less than human.
- Trust in authority figures.
"...But as for you, you are obviously innocent! You still believe that the Organs [of state security] are humanely logical institutions: they will set things straight and let you out.
Why, then, should you run away? And how can you resist right then? After all, you'll only make your situation worse; you'll make it more difficult for them to sort out the mistake. And it isn't just that you don't put up any resistance; you even walk down the stairs on tiptoe, as you are ordered to do, so your neighbors won't hear.
At what exact point, then, should one resist? When one's belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one's home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about any one of them individually - especially at a time when the thoughts of the person arrested are wrapped tightly around the big question: 'What for?' - and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest."
I think same kind of thoughts go through peoples' heads in all manner of less serious circumstances. They might know it doesn't feel right or that it's wrong, but they feel that surely someone will help them correct the mistake. And if they just go along for now, they'll be in better standing when they finally find the right time to raise their objection.
>During Rennie North’s first year at Lakeview Terrace, she gained sixty pounds. Parks had switched the Norths’ insurance, for reasons she never explained, and Rennie began seeing new doctors, who prescribed Valium, Prozac, the sedative Temazepam, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl. The doses steadily increased.
EDIT: I've been downvoted, so maybe I should explain my complaint. The article describes an "emergency ex-parte" hearing as one in which only one side is represented. Does that feel like 2017 justice to you, especially in the context of the article?
It's a technical term with a fixed definition. It's not being interpreted, and it doesn't matter if it's English, Latin, or a drawing of a flower.
A lay person being able to guess at the meaning is a minor benefit in some situations, but people guess wrong all the time about how laws work. The end result is a pretty negligible difference.
And looking like normal words without actually being normal words can actually be a detriment to understanding.
This is not really a fair assessment. Law and contracts aren’t all rewritten every few years — old and settled law must be read and understood in the style it was written in, as must precedents and contracts. At one time, the largest settled body of law was the Roman law and so a lot of Latin got dragged forward into the English legal system (and from there into the American, Hong Kong, Canadian, &c.).
The situation is like that in medicine, biology and many other sciences, where the long history of Latin as a language of scholarship is still felt in the choice of technical terms.
Yes it is. Most people making an appeal wouldn't know what a prima facie case is. It is in fact how most self-done appeals fail in the first place. Most people don't know when they file for themselves to file pro se - a big failing for initial cases. Little technical crap like that which relies upon a dead language that only us geeks bothered taking in high school as their elective foreign language. WE get the advantage, the common person does not. Then to boot, we pretty much eliminated civics, so most people don't know how to file a lawsuit or defend themselves, let alone know the Latin terms to utilize in the first place!
And the NEW laws are still written in the OLD American English. No bueno.
While people might not have to interact with engineering jargon, they are often forced to interact with legal jargon at some of the worst times in their life; I think it's good signaling if they can easily identify whether someone's entering into a "legal interaction" with them rather than just a regular talk.
In contrast, English terms of art may be misleading based on their common interpretation - how often do people misunderstand "fair use" of copyrighted material?
For what it’s worth, I think older Americans have a ton to offer to younger people in terms of mentorship. Probably the dumbest person you know now will grow into an older person with some valuable wisdom to share. Imagine then how smart most older people are...
I used to hardly ever interact with old people, but now I do every day. Some of the friendliest people in my neighborhood include a very elderly lady who counts the money and makes change where I buy coffee every morning (she has tremors, and has maybe had a stroke, but still has a function in society) and another older women who rides in on a bicycle carrying a large basket of really excellent fruit. I definitely think having a purpose, even if it's because poverty requires everyone to pitch in regardless of their limited abilities, does tend to keep people happier and more social as they age.
As an aside, I've been seeing a lot of people use the term "racist" as a phrase for those who prefer certain cultural values. There is a difference between race and culture.
Noting that older generations tend to be more racist is not ageism, it's just a trend. Just like how noting that Asian Americans make more money on average than whites isn't racism, it's just the way things are.
You are right about me saying "all" when OP didn't actually say that. I've edited my comment, thank you for the constructive criticism.
The stupid ones die early. Survivorship bias, etc.
Unfortunately authorities like to apply general statistics in specific cases which is wrong.
This presumes there's something better about surviving to old age than not, that people learn correct lessons from their life experience, that experience is a better guide than information that can be easily accessed from books and the internet, and that people retain correct memories into old age. I don't think any of these presumptions really hold in a general sense.
Even if you decide to disagree with the person, you are enriched by the story having been told to you.
That's what talking to someone who's been around the block a few times can give you: comprehension of not just the what, but the why and the how.
Years later she was finally removed from the job.
Get your power of attorney's and medical POAs filled out to protect yourself.
And the denouement:
The last post is entitled "How Wall Street Screwed Me" because Deutsche Bank was the principal actor, but they could not have done it without the Nevada legal system as a co-conspirator.
Most states have at least a few corrupt departments. Based on my experience and knowledge wealthy, coastal states with lots of laws on the books (and lots of departments to enforce these laws) generally have a little more breadth to the corruption. Flyover states generally have a little more depth where corruption is found.
My aunt moved in next to my grandparents some 30 years ago and has cared for them since that time. Then around 10 years ago, my grandfather died. Since that time, her assets have reduced by over $400k while receiving spouse military and civil service retirement and social security and payments for long-term care (over $7k in income per month). In the past 3 years, my grandmother has become more difficult and lost her mind. More recently, my mother is getting more and more upset that my aunt got financial and medical POA without informing her because my aunt pays her personal credit card bills, uses my grandmother's card as hers, eats out often/pays for other people's meals and generally seems irresponsible with money. So my mom, in an effort to prevent all the money from being wasted, cashed out a significant certificate of deposit and created a new account for it at a new bank. That way, if my grandmother (their mother) needs money, it will be there.
Un/fortunately, my mother also involved the state's elder financial abuse protection department whom made a determination that she was the elder abuser when my aunt recently gifted my grandmother's house to herself, in addition to two vehicles (a car and a van). And now there are also lawsuits, so now lawyers will get what scraps they were fighting over. Ugh. Stupid money family drama sucks.
Don't put any adult children's names on any accounts. Bank accounts, investments, CDs, etc. should be payable upon death.
Do a will and living revocable trust. Probate and taxes can also take your kids' inheritance.
All adult children able to see but not use or modify credit card and banking accounts, and agree to financial decisions together.
Place a lock on elderly parent's credit reports.
Have parents split up/allocate inheritance before losing their mind/s or passing away.
Make wills specific so there are fewer arguments.
Have a single place (ie fireproof safe) where keys, documents, online passwords, bills, assets, properties are inventoried and include whom to call to cancel, transfer, etc.
Make end-of-life and upon death directives clear and precise.
If doing burial or cremation, get it pre-need because it's much cheaper and much nicer for the family.
One important correction: The grandfather was aware of the finances for the first 20 of 30 years, the OP says that the losses occurred "since that time". So it's 10 years, not 30; multiply any compensation by 3.
A second, more important correction: the 'compensation' to the aunt comes from drawing on grandma's assets and also her income. OP asserts that grandma's income is $7k/month, or $840k. Added to the $400k in assets spent/lost, this is one and a quarter million dollars.
$13k/year is not enough to be visibly irresponsible with money, it's a reasonable or even small rate for family care. But $125k/year is unsustainable, as demonstrated by grandma's dwindling assets.
Regardless of the cost of living, death does very strange things to people and can flip an entire history of a relationship on its head. It happened with my family where a relatively calm and expected death ended up estranging members of the family because of what the deceased had written in the will.
I really am not looking forward to my parents' passing, as I live (and probably will still be) living abroad, though I am executor of their estate. Inheritance always brings out bad blood.
It's a common pattern: Family "takes care" of an elder while blowing through their money. Money now depleted, a more responsible family member steps in to manage the final years, only to be vilified by everyone who rode the gravy train in.
Pretty much a decade-long court battle since grandma died that only ended earlier this year, but really it's been a fight in court since 1989 when my grandfather passed away.
All the money was basically stolen by one of the children and her mafia-associated husband. My aunt's outbursts in court had both her and my 73 year old mother thrown in jail for months for contempt of court and the other siblings used that time to sign all of the remaining assets into their own name. Highly suspicious about the judge involved and there's currently a review of his actions wrt the case going on now.
Honestly, if there is money involved and you have siblings you don't agree with, you have to be prepared to either walk away from the money and your family completely or to kill them, because honestly it's less hassle.
I just helped grandma dig through her account and found cousins on the account, started with basic service, upgraded their service, and then got phones via monthly payment on the account. And not basic phones, it included an iPhone 7s Gold 128GB ($750 at the time).
Financial elder abuse is a crime, a felony, in most states.
How could something so horrible happen to so many so routinely? Any what can we techies do about it? I'm always searching for meaning in my work and I'm having trouble remembering anything I've worked on lately that's nearly as important as this issue.
Then I realized that the solution is already in the article:
In the course of his thirty-five-year career, Shafer has assumed control of more than three thousand wards and estates and trained a generation of guardians.
When Concetta Mormon, a wealthy woman who owned a Montessori school, became Shafer’s ward because she had aphasia, Shafer sold the school midyear, even though students were enrolled.
Parks and other private guardians appeared to gravitate toward patients who had considerable assets.
It's all about the money! They don't go after poor people.
How can we high achievers turn this into a business opportunity that's a win-win-win for everyone and put the bad guys out of business? It's almost like we need a watsi for senior citizens. Thoughts?
While listening to my dad explain it all, I wrote down "Stripe Atlas for old people's estates" in my idea notebook. Another poster mentioned setting up nested LLC's, just a service to scale and productize it. Not just for the elderly either, I can think of a lot of people that would want the protection and power of obscuring money that real estate developers and politicians have benefited from for years. It would be a real game changer.
That is a good idea, but personally I am torn. Something like this shouldn't be allowed to happen in the first place, isn't it?
Hunger for wealth and control makes one a target.
An idea that has been on my mind is to create some sort of virtual wall of shame. It would put the name and picture of those people who have done such terrible things and have not paid for their crimes. It would spam their emails and social media accounts with messages. It would send emails and messages to their relatives and friends. It would create ads targeted to where those people live telling their story. The goal is to do everything in order to not let such crimes be forgotten and to not let those people live normal lives again, at least in the virtual world.
I don't know if I will ever put this plan in practice and I know it is a dangerous idea, but each time I read something like this it makes me more willing to start this idea.
The only reasonable counter to those offenders is an investigative report by a professional of the fourth estate that has a reputation for ethical practices. Which is to say an investigative journalist rakes the muck and publishes the embarrassing story. But those seem to be of a breed that is dying with the newspapers.
The amateur crowdsourced journalists/influencers the likes of which come from Anonymous and SJWs and Antifa and Black Twitter may be the only ones who care enough to even do a cursory investigation. And they are unlikely to meet any reasonable standard of fairness, due to unaligned incentives.
The only solution that preserves fairness is for those in the official legal system to police themselves and relentlessly attack the corruption occurring within their own ranks. If that does not happen, or worse, if it happens and those who fight corruption and blow whistles suffer damaging retaliation from it, then the corrupt should have no reasonable expectation that they will be treated fairly, nor those who present the appearance of corruption, or complicity with corruption. There are no good cops as long as bad cops retain their impunity. There are no good judges as long as the decisions from bad judges stand unexamined and unchallenged. There are no good lawyers as long as injustice persists.
The system we have to ensure that the innocent are protected from witch hunts, kangaroo court, and drumhead trials is as vulnerable to subversion as any other, and replicating it in parallel in order to prosecute that subversion seems inconvenient at best. And yet "we investigated ourselves and cleared ourselves of all wrongdoing" is so depressingly common.
Muckraking is fine (there's no law that says everyone should be nice to you) -- but there needs to be a line drawn between investigative journalism and libel, a line the New Yorker has pretty much always stayed on the right side of.
"There are no good cops as long as bad cops retain their impunity. There are no good judges as long as the decisions from bad judges stand unexamined and unchallenged. There are no good lawyers as long as injustice persists."
-- that's an incredibly binary view. By that logic, the whistle blower is just as bad as those he blows the whistle about! There must be a gradient of good to evil, with everyone lying somewhere between ideals. I think it is a mistake and general disservice to lump the imperfect whistle-blower, advocate, and reform-minded cop/judge/lawyer in with his crooked brethren. Not only does is tarnish his or her reputation, but it also blemishes their contributions toward a more perfect system.
When the existing system for due process fails in this manner, should there be a reasonable expectation for due process in whatever ad-hoc process that arises because justice is not being served? I don't think so. If your job is to provide due process, and you undermine that, then you deserve all the vigilantism that comes your way because of it.
When you abuse the legal guardianship system to rob people of their family, and rob their family of their money, you should count yourself lucky if all that happens to you is that you get convicted in the regular legal system and go to prison. Those judges that granted this woman highly abusable levels of power after two minutes or less in an ex-parte hearing have filth on their hands, too.
If you want to save people from vigilantism, you have to be willing to send them to prison through the regular legal system. If you give them de facto impunity, people will find other ways, less fair and impartial, to punish them.
A bad cop or bad judge is also a bad citizen, and they generally deserve the opportunity to become a good citizen. But the standards for admission to the trust involved in law enforcement or judging should be high, and if you’ve proven yourself untrustworthy in such a role, any reentry should take extraordinary proof of reform before it is considered, and it may simply be a better use of social resources not to leave that door open at all.
If whistleblowing matters at all, then bad cops don't have impunity, and the statement doesn't apply.
OTOH, if whistleblowing is an empty gesture...
Jesus' message largely seemed to be "the rules exist for a reason, and you Pharisees are focused on the rules while ignoring the reason." The Pharisees knew the letter of the law well, and they'd often try to trip Jesus up, getting him to break the letter of the law.
Rules may be necessary but they are clearly not sufficient. I think whatever the rules are, people will find ways to do horrible things, unless we all value something higher than the law.
Unless we talk about and promote values directly - and all try to act in accordance with the values - these sorts of outcomes are inevitable. This means mindfully considering context always - instead of outsourcing our moral decision making to courts and police and politicians.
A society where everyone agrees "injustice anywhere is a mark of shame on me" would be a very just society. This seems like the inevitable end of "not my problem" writ large.
It's always shocking to me when I see evidence of impossibly exploitive individuals participating in such scams. But then I remember how many people there are, and how that multiplier applies to all walks of life. Sigh.
>Parks responded calmly, “It’s legal. It’s legal.”
Years ago in college, my friend was depressed, and as a coping mechanism would sometimes write suicide notes. He'd read them and realize he wasn't quite at that point and it would help him get along. It was a process.
Anyway, somehow some of his notes were discovered, he was arrested (I still don't know the details here) and put into some weird absurd protective custody thing in a psychiatric hospital. I was allowed to see him exactly once. The one time I managed to get in he looked like shit. Bags under the eyes, light gone, just, hollow. He said they forced him to take these anti anxiety meds that make him feel like a zombie, that if he didn't take them and admit he needed medication, they wouldn't let him out. But he wasn't "earnest" enough about his treatment and so he still couldn't get out of that hellscape.
After about ten days of being unable to contact him, being stonewalled by the cops and the doctors (working with his parents, who were out of state and just as confused/frustrated), I completely snapped. I loaded my remington and 2 boxes of shells into my truck and was planning on driving straight into the lobby of the hospital and forcefully removing him. I was furious but remember having a clear plan - wasn't going to shoot anyone, figured the truck through the lobby plus a crazy fucker in a mask with a shotgun would force their hand and let him go and then we'd drive to mexico or some shit. Consequences be damned, silly fucking laws be damned, I was getting my friend out. I was tossing my gunbag into the back when I got a call on my cell from him saying he finally got out and needed a ride.
God only knows if I had gone through with it, maybe I would have come to my senses in the parking lot, I can only hope. All I know is that there was nothing more frustrating or infuriating I have ever experienced than watching him go through it and being completely stonewalled. I've had friends go to jail and I've gone to jail and that's fair, that makes sense. There's a process. There's bail. You broke a written rule and you spend some time for it. You get to talk to a judge. The judge gives you rules and you follow them and you get out.
But where he was, there was no rules. You are in at the whim of the doctor and you get out at the whim of the doctor.
I imagine the daughter felt something very similar here - where's the process? Who's the authority? Where are the rules written down and when did she agree to them? How could that daughter have protected herself and her family from some absurd hidden legalese?
> you broke a written rule and you spend some time for it.
Not true. Jail is for people accused of breaking rules, not convicted. And arrests are severely biased against certain subpopulations.
> The judge gives you rules and you follow them and you get out.
which generally involve sitting in jail because you can't afford bail, with a nontrivial chance of losing your job due to absence, then losing your home due to poverty.
Don't argue which injustice is worse. Fight the injustice.
While you make some good points, you are confusing “jail” with “pretrial detention”; while much (but not all) pre-trial detention is done in jails, that's not the only thing jails are used for; people do serve post-conviction sentences in jails, too.
I am not very familiar with this, and it probably varies by state.
That's a common but not universal rule; California, for instance, sends felons whose crime is not a violent or serious felony, or one that requires sex offender registration, to county jails.
And the punishment - if any - is likely to be far less than what is meted out to some afflicted person jailed for stockpiling prescription medications for self-treatment due to incurable pain (Richard Paey).
This type of behaviour can happen at insolvencys in germany too. If you get a corrupt insolvency-manager, he will ride the remains of your company (even if it could be saved) into countless law battles with creditors - where the insolvency managers firm is the defending party of the company its managing. This can go on until the company-corpse is sucked dry.
It must be terrifying to feel so helpless against the state.
This is why "2nd amendment protects you from the government" arguments are absurd. Attacking the government is illegal - if you find a legal way to do it, the government will protect itself from bodily harm by declaring whatever you did illegal.
EDIT: This is not an argument of moral right versus wrong, this is about the definition of "illegal," which only has function as a concept if there's an actual government.
For example, we can all agree that shooting unarmed civilians is wrong, right? Or taking their cash money? But, it's not illegal. Cops do it all the time, and in the case of cash money it's explicitly legal.
I would love to be challenged on this point, so I would greatly appreciate if you could spice your downvotes with a quick thought on why I'm wrong.
The fear is that a benevolent government banishes arms, which makes the populace defenseless. Then later, a malevolent government gets into power, and the populace can no-longer defend itself. The key here is that the government instituting a ban need not be the government that later needs to be revolted against.
When would the government admit that the law has failed?
>Overthrown a corrupt government
When would the government admit it is corrupt? When would it "allow" itself to be violently deposed?
The point I'm trying to make is that there is no way US Law would explicitly allow a means to destroy the USA (via the second amendment or otherwise).
>the government is no longer legitimate if that threshold is broken
The 2nd Amendment exists because the writers of the US Constitution had just finished overthrowing a government they did not believe represented the people, and wanted to ensure that if the replacement government ever ceased to represent the will of the people, that the people would have the means to forcibly remove it.
They had also, several years before, been involved in the state (formerly colony) governments’ acting collectively to rebel against an unrepresentative (by simple fact that the people were not, directly or by the intermediary of representation of their local government in the central one, represented; this was not a matter of feeling) central government, and, sure, preserving the states’ capacity to do that in the event that the federal government became unresponsive or overbearing was a consideration.
The 2nd Amendment is unique in having an explicit statement of purpose, which for some reason those who claim to be it's Forrest defenders always ignore.
Mobile keyboard autocorrect is fun.
Cliven Bundy has decided the threshold has been passed and instigates armed resistance in Nevada. Is the US government no longer legitimate and is allowed to be overthrown wholesale?
Trusts essentially keep estates out of probate. Since it's the money these criminals are after they work well towards that goal.
Combine that with how the elderly are often sitting on sizable wealth while basically "giving up" on fighting battles people drag them into, and for the past several decades there has been endless lobbying by predatory sociopaths to align the law to enable this kind of behavior, because stealing money from retirees is a very easy crime to commit since they are much less likely to fight against their robbers.
Its the exact same kind of predation that produces such vile amoral policy leaps as "think of the children" turning into prescribing Adderall to every other child because they are all "hyper" while making lovely profits for the doctors and producers involved, or how "tough on crime" becomes mass incarceration of nonviolent citizens for possessing a plant where they can make private prisons ludicrous profits.
All you need is a tagline to distract the masses - "we don't want elders dying alone in their homes" and you can throw civil liberties right out the window to start making profits off them, the same way sociopaths use the legal system to pray on anyone they can.
* See local and state firearms prohibitions, wiretapping by the NSA, title nine sexual assault courts, presidents declaring war without congressional approval, paris accord agreement without congressional approval and many other examples.
Other failed institutions seemed at least too disinterested. That includes the police (considering all of this a civil matter), and Nevada Adult Protective Services.
Beyond that, many people (doctors, people working at retirement homes, etc) seem to have actively aided this scheme.
In general, I'd say a combination of corruption and bureaucratic apathy / CYAism are what caused this. The solution is `more accountability' but that is difficult to do without creating more potential for bureaucracy and corruption.
The article said things about her finding doctors to write the notes, but how could they get them in the first place? Wouldn't the couple need to visit the doctor, and give the okay for them to give information to Parks?
Does anyone know why the daughter was powerless, or not their guardian herself? This felt like a hole in the narrative.
Once the court approved the guardianship, the wards were often removed from their homes, which were eventually sold. Terry Williams, whose father’s estate was taken over by strangers even though he’d named her the executor of his will, has spent years combing through guardianship, probate, and real-estate records in Clark County. “I kept researching, because I was so fascinated that these people could literally take over the lives and assets of people under color of law, in less than ten minutes, and nobody was asking questions,” she told me. “These people spent their lives accumulating wealth and, in a blink of an eye, it was someone else’s."
"The opinions of wards were also disregarded. In 2010, Guadalupe Olvera, a ninety-year-old veteran of the Second World War, repeatedly asked that his daughter and not Shafer be appointed his guardian. “The ward is not to go to court,” Shafer instructed his assistants. When Olvera was finally permitted to attend a hearing, nearly a year after becoming a ward, he expressed his desire to live with his daughter in California, rather than under Shafer’s care. “Why is everybody against that?” he asked Norheim. “I don’t need that man.” Although Nevada’s guardianship law requires that courts favor relatives over professionals, Norheim continued the guardianship, saying, “The priority ship sailed.”
When Olvera’s daughter eventually defied the court’s orders and took her father to live at her seaside home in Northern California, Norheim’s supervisor, Judge Charles Hoskin, issued an arrest warrant for her “immediate arrest and incarceration” without bail. The warrant was for contempt of court, but Norheim said at least five times from the bench that she had “kidnapped” Olvera. At a hearing, Norheim acknowledged that he wasn’t able to send an officer across state lines to arrest the daughter. Shafer said, “Maybe I can.”"
Everything that happened in that case was a function of state, not federal, law.
Gerrymandering + loss of local news coverage = incredible levels of corruption get baked into the system.
That's true, but the point is that a retiree can choose where they retire to within the United States. Informing oneself about the legal risks associated with guardianship abuse in a given jurisdiction seems every bit as worthwhile as a state's tax laws or weather, topics which retirees certainly tend to take an interest in.
> Gerrymandering + loss of local news coverage = incredible levels of corruption get baked into the system.
Dammit, we've only got an inch of topsoil left!
I dearly, dearly hope that there was something I missed, and that it isn't just a case of bureaucratic maneuvering to deprive that couple of everything they owned.
Taking Florida's as an example (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Displ...), the state gives strong preference to bloodline or marriage. The court has to declare in writing pretty specific reasons to appoint a professional guardian.
Nevada's laws (https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-159.html), although not as strong as Florida, does seem to indicate preference for bloodline or spouse.
So I wonder how they ended up with a professional guardian / fraudster in the first place. I understand that sometimes this happens due to family disagreements over who should be appointed, or inability to care for one reason or another. Maybe that happened in these cases.
Incidentally, you can also declare, in your will, a medical power of attorney which basically pre-lays out the guardianship lineage in your preferred order. From what I understand, courts tend to use the medical power of attorney preferences well over anything else, so this is probably one of the strongest ways to prevent this sort of situation.
1) The professional guardian moved for an emergency ex parte hearing, without notification to family members, getting to speak to the court first, and unopposed.
2) The professional guardian mentioned the family members in her court filings, and indicated they were unfit for various reasons.
3) The courts didn't really check the professional guardian's claims.
Those seem like facts, assuming the article can be trusted. What follows are my conjectures based on those facts:
4) The judge is in on it, fundamentally. At the very least, he thinks professional guardians are just a better idea than family members, and hence he was just looking for justification to ignore the preference-for-bloodline statute.
5) Item #3 is a consequence of #4 to some extent. The judge has no real incentive to double-check things here, and it's extra work, so why do it? The resulting lack of consequences described in the article indicates that this was a rational call on the judge's part, as far as that goes.
6) Item #2 gives cover to the judge to act on the predisposition I describe in item #4.
Further Googling indicated that up until 2015, guardians in Nevada had to be in-state residents. (http://borglawgroup.com/new-adult-guardianship-laws-may-affe...). This is a pretty nasty restriction in my opinion in today's world, and probably accounted for at least some of the "disqualifications". At least Florida law specifically qualifies non-residents that are related!
It seems like this story was pretty big in Las Vegas around 2015, and it did lead to reform attempts at the state level (including the above reform). Obviously you can't change the past, but I'm curious if any of this has done any good for the future. (https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/n...).
At least five guardians are in legal trouble now over this, four of them (including Parks) for running a racket (http://www.ktnv.com/news/contact-13/guardianship-crimes-occu...). Another guardian was arrested for stealing from a client in 2013 (http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/23641602/court-appointed-guar...).
Of course, at a government level, all that happens is career shuffling...
"Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “crtgrdn,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court."
"Norheim awarded a guardianship to Parks, on average, nearly once a week. She had up to a hundred wards at a time. “I love April Parks,” he said at one hearing"
I would be shocked if this guy isn't getting some kind of payment from Ms. Parks.
In any case, unfortunately all that's important for my #4 is that the judge be predisposed towards professional guardians, for whatever reason.
It's truly awful, but it seems to jibe with the whole prison thing going on in the states. Its all the people who have no means to defend themselves who seem to be the targets of these schemes: poor people, kids, elderly, the disabled.
Second, if you have wealth, give it to someone you trust, or put it into a trust. If you don't have wealth, well, there's not much for them to try to take from you.
It only becomes difficult when you also have to fight against the incentives.
When the 'guardian' gets to bill the estate when their doctor friend writes something down, and the judges are listening to the letter of the law as argued by the expert lawyers rather than the flabbergasted victims, then it's a hard problem.
In a normal country with a social welfare program, the guardian would have to bill the government — if the government doesn't agree to lay down money to say that this person needs protecting, nobody gets paid.
(In an honest no-government-programs libertarian paradise like the US sometimes pretends to aspire to be, the guardian would have to bill some kind of health insurer that covered this specific care: and again, the insurer would take on the task of scrutinizing the claim.)
3. Now we staff the whole system with attentive, caring, intelligent people who have time to spend on each case.
That point is not at an ex-parte hearing as the very first step in the process.
The Clark County guardianship commissioner, Jon Norheim. Seems to be at the heart of this. His bad rulings are how the system was not able to prevent this stuff from happening. Some blame also lies with the apparent lack of any appeal options against his decisions.
One such hearing took just over a minute. You could likely drag out a parking ticket hearing longer than that
In fact, this isn't hypothetical, this exact scenario happened just the other week to an old priest from the exact same small (less than 5000 people) town
Puerto Rico is out. The Florida Keys are still under heavy repair. South Florida is not looking good. And hurricane season just started.
Actually, my impression was that extreme heatwaves in hot places tend to kill more elderly people than extreme cold in cold ones.
In 1995, he persuaded the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs to write a bill that allowed the county to receive interest on money that the public guardian invested. “This is what I want you to put in the statute, and I will tell you that you will get a rousing hand from a couple of judges who practice our probate,” he said
Just curious since this keeps coming up. Why would people add these IANAL disclaimers, especially on an anonymous forum?
I would assume that if you wanted to stand out as a lawyer in a discussion you would have to explicitly announce yourself to be one and because this is internet most people still wouldn't believe you (even if you really were a lawyer). I cannot fathom how would that go the other way around.
Disclaiming that "I'm not a lawyer" sounds a bit like an introduction to a string of other disclaimers, as in me not being a medical doctor, CS professor, airline pilot, or law enforcement official either.
Is there a court case where someone took, out of thin air, someone else's word as if he was a lawyer while he wasn't and never said he was, suffered some losses because of it, and actually won in court? Or what's the reason for adding the IANAs?
I would imagine it's partly a courtesy ("You should take this with a grain of salt") and partly a CYA ("Under no circumstance should you take this as legal advice, nor sue me for giving bad legal advice, etc").
[EDIT] probably also part of a US thing about constant over-disclaiming and posting rules/regulations everywhere, which I gather is really weird and makes us come off as kinda repressed from the perspective of people from other countries, even those from the more repressive variety. I don't know, I'm American and going on the reactions I've read of foreign world travelers to Americans' love of basically-useless posted quasi-legal language on seemingly every flat surface, and poles where flat surfaces aren't available.
I am not a lawyer, but I think the amount of corporate shell games and fictitious entities should be proportional to the amount of money at stake in the estate.
If grandma has $300k left to her name, and can still fry her own eggs every morning, then a boilerplate last will, durable power of attorney, and medical plan from a strip mall estate planning lawyer is probably enough to keep the wolves and vultures at bay long enough to sound the alarums.
If grandma still owns a profitable business in her own name, you're going to need to burn some billable hours from a pressed-suit type, and maybe register some new corporations or LLCs.
Most people can get it done with the strip mall lawyer, without trying anything fancy. The HN crowd has more money to protect than most people, so they're going to want the downtown high-rise lawyer. And if that person recommends anything that does not sound incredibly boring, commonplace, and tedious, you probably got the wrong guy, and need to walk to a different firm.
But since I am not a lawyer, I'd recommend re-titling everything worth cataloguing to a handful of New Mexico LLCs, as they do not require annual reports or disclosure of the principals, and get EINs for them via a nominee, so they won't show up in the cursory asset searches for your elder. The valuable assets would be divided up into separate legal baskets, so no one can come in and take everything in one swoop. Then you lease the property back to the former owner, from the LLC, with a "peppercorn rent"--essentially a gestural payment that can be easily made, so long as the lessee remains competent. So if anyone ever gets your elder declared incompetent, or if they die, anything worth stealing immediately reverts to a predetermined person's legal control. You have to assume that someone is watching your loved one circle the drain, with the intent of searching their pockets once they stop moving.
All of these are alleviated and addressed through proper governance measures. This is a problem that is solvable in large part.
As for why the "guardians" do it, it's right there for you in the subtitle.
Why doesn't anyone care about this? How do we FORCE our politicians to fix these legal bugs so that we are protected?
By design, you don't force politicians to do anything, you just vote against the ones doing what you don't want.
In the US, the entire electoral system is built around (for the benefit of both politician and sponsor) obfuscating responsibility away from representatives and holding them to the least account for laws passed or policy in place as possible, and then limiting the ability of constituents to replace them when they want to via gerrymandering / private campaigning.
This is just one drop in a sea of evil brought about by broken election systems enabling corrupt laws and policy that nobody is ever held to account for.
Second, if you have grand/parents over 75 ask them to put all their financials on mint and expose this account to multiple portions of the family. Mint is read only. This way when things get strange - off to the DA.