Estate of Denial news clips (10/13/17)

Election against ex-husband’s will barred due to unresolved marriage status (IN)

Indiana Lawyer

October 3, 2017

The purported ex-wife of a now-deceased man cannot proceed with her election against the man’s will because the couple failed to resolve the issue of the legal status of their marriage for more than 40 years, thus barring her claim under the doctrine of laches, the Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled.

One year after their marriage in April 1968, Leon and Milana Riggs separated and were issued a divorce decree in Mexico. The couple stopped living together in 1969, and beginning in 1970, Leon Riggs’ tax filing status was single.


Manipulative, predatory, and legal: Abuse of Michigan estate laws and the effort to fix it

Michigan Radio

October 3, 2017

If you’ve ever lost a loved one, you know that the grief is almost unbearable.

But imagine a scam that makes money off your loved one’s estate on top of that.


Miami attorney disbarred following gross negligence allegations in guardianship cases (FL)

Florida Record

October 4, 2017

Miami attorney Angela Marie Abell, also known as Angela Hill, has been disbarred following a Aug. 24 Florida Supreme Court order following allegations of gross negligence in guardianship cases and misappropriation of client funds.

The state high court issued its two-page order of disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. The Florida State Bar announced the discipline and the supreme court’s order Sept. 27.


Lockport lawyer, 73, gets six months in jail for $63000 thefts from clients (NY)

Buffalo News

October 4, 2017

Lockport lawyer Edward R. Thiel conceded Wednesday that it was “stupid” of him to take $63,684 owed to four clients and parcel it out to his 26-year-old son, who allegedly spent the money buying drugs.

Lockport City Judge William J. Watson, citing Thiel’s “utter and complete lack of remorse, or any attempt to make up for it,” sentenced the 73-year-old attorney to five years’ probation, with the first six months to be spent in the Niagara County Jail.


Why Guardianship Abuse Occurs (MA)


October 5, 2017

Many listeners were left shocked by our discussion about for profit-guardians—strangers— knocking on the doors of vulnerable elderly people and taking total control of their finances and lives.

Listeners wondered how people could become guardians in the first place. We asked Pamela Teaster, director of the Center for Gerontology Virginia Tech, and one of the few scholars in the country who studies guardianship, to explain:

Adult guardianship (also called conservatorship or termed fiduciaries) varies by state and is a legal process that occurs when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his or her person, property, or both.