EoD’s take on today’s estate news stories

A few quick comments on EoD news articles posted today.

WZTV Nashville has now also reported on the Raymond Simmons estate which appears to have largely been squandered by its former executor.  We’re glad exposure of this case continues and hope it will continue serving as a warning of the relative ease with which estates can be looted.

The same can be said of the Smoron case in Connecticut.  The Hartford Courant published a great Letter to the Editor yesterday in which a reader took to task the state and pointed out all the important inheritance rights abuses.  Specifically that

  • censured Probate Judge Bryan Merccariello should be impeached for blatant violations of duty and ethics;
  • estate planning documents are meaningless when ignored by elected officials;
  • “oversight” functions are a joke when – despite significant complaints – they are used as “feel good,” not “do good” corrective measures;
  • disregarding a person’s clearly articulated wishes for the final distribution of their property is purely heinous;
  • the designated heir continues entanglement in the legal process with an expense of time and money and having to depend on a corrupt system to “correct” its total abuse of the power with which it was entrusted; and
  • the designated heir will only receive expedited (and deserved!) relief with special dispensation on the part of the Connecticut General Assembly – a body that seems committed to an effort of reform-oriented appearances quietly coupled with maintenance of its legal industry’s status quo.

And as always, we’d like to see criminal charges in both these cases.  That’s the real key to reform!  Additional analysis on these two cases will be forthcoming in a new column later this week.

A couple of other noteworthy articles.  While the Orange County controversy only grows, we’ve got another California public guardian’s office whose next prospective officeholders are “facing the fire” after its theft from disabled clients.

Remember David Widlak, the Michigan attorney who became a banker but is now missing?  Seems like not only did he have his pending estate looting lawsuit, but his bank was facing problems due to undercapitalization.

And finally, Townhall.com published a column yesterday that presents an important view of the elder abuse issue.  It aptly echoes important points that we here at EstateofDenial.com believe serve as an impetus for many probate abuse actions.  While this column focuses on the elderly, we think many of the points can also apply to disabled and incapacitated people of all ages.  The key point includes however that, in addition to the appeal of looting available assets, these folks later produce a lucrative revenue stream (we call it “headcount value”) as for-profit facilities maximize client (or patient or resident) participation in taxpayer-funded programs.