New laws to protect families from greedy guardians following a series of ABC15 Investigations (AZ)

PHOENIX – The ABC15 Investigators spent the last year bringing you stories of families claiming a Valley business took their loved ones away, wiped out their finances and used the court system to do it.

Today, not only is that company out of business, there are two new laws on the books to help protect families even from court itself.

Brad Lund is fighting relatives who want him declared “incapacitated” and take control of his money. And Brad has a lot of it. He’s the grandson of Walt Disney.

Brad has spent about a million dollars trying to stay out of probate court.

But, most of the families we interviewed over the past year couldn’t.

In that time, the ABC15 Investigators exposed problems in probate court and cases where judges appointed guardian companies to care for incapacitated adults.

Problems like not following the family’s wishes, charging excessive fees, and budgeting for future expenses. See investigative series .

Brad hired former state legislator turned lobbyist, Laura Knaperek who had a hand in successfully changing state law.

“It just appears that the court is a rubber stamp, that there really is no accountability there,” Knaperek said.

The first law covers oversight by creating a panel to review complaints by families.

While the second law tries to control costs by requiring estimates for housing, care and fees.

Next year, Knaperek and her team will be back to fight for the rights of private citizens to have due process. And we will be there to cover it.

See all our previous investigative reports on probate court.

Attribution:

New laws to protect families from greedy guardians following a series of ABC15 Investigations
Joe Ducey/Maria Tomasch
May 6, 2011
KNXV-TV/ABC15.com
http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/new-laws-to-protect-families-from-greedy-guardians-following-a-series-of-abc15-investigations

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