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Undue influence as a form of elder abuse

Elder abuse is often a component of the Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) cases discussed on this web site.  While the abuse in our cases is usually emotional or financial instead of physical, it still is a devastating action which no one should experience.  Margaret Singer Ph.D. was a clinical psychologist and emeritus adjunct professor Keep Reading…

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Abuse in Louisiana in the broad daylight

Over the past few days, we’ve been corresponding with Eric from Louisiana.  His father’s tragic story is detailed at http://bellsouthpwp.net/b/a/baxterericweb/lear.  Elder abuse is not an infrequent component of Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) cases.  Mistreatment of the elderly can occur at the hands of their spouses, children, caregivers or even sometimes attorneys.  EoD completely agrees Keep Reading…

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Oops, hope it doesn’t happen again!

Britney Spears.  No one can deny that this is one troubled young woman.  Sadly, though, her problem quota likely increased this week with the appointment of her father, Jamie Spears, and an attorney as co-conservators of her estate.  Obviously the girl needs the intervention of responsible adults into her life.  She most likely does need Keep Reading…

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How to ensure relatives don’t rip you off

Case of Astor’s Son Highlights Risks of Powers of Attorney; Requiring Regular Accounts Rachel Emma Silverman and Ashby Jones November 28, 2007 Page D1 The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119621444421006085.html Sadly, Brooke Astor is making headlines again. But there may be a lesson in the indictment of the late philanthropist’s son and a lawyer close to Keep Reading…

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Can you ensure that relatives don’t rip you off?

We came across this WSJ article that ties the Astor case to the need for “proper” estate planning.  While the article makes some good points, Estate of Denial always contends that the best laid plans are not a deterrent to Involuntary Redistribution of Assets practitioners. Proper estate planning only succeeds when executed by people who respect Keep Reading…

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Shouldn’t your final wishes matter?

One last comment on the Wade Sheffield case.  Sheffield was convicted of mismanaging the trust fund that Vida C. Miller had willed to two charities.  Mrs. Miller’s wishes appear to have been straightforward and simple.  EoD was struck when a Temple Daily Telegram (Texas) story (http://www.temple-telegram.com/story/2008/01/31/46766) quoted Bell County prosecutor Nelson Barnes saying with regard Keep Reading…

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Former funeral home director sentenced to probation, restitution

Sheffield given 10 years probation Paul A. Romer January 31, 2008 Temple-Telegram.com http://www.temple-telegram.com/story/2008/01/31/46766 BELTON – Wade Sheffield was sentenced to 10 years probation Wednesday, avoiding jail time after he pleaded guilty in 264th District Court to mismanaging the trust fund a woman had willed to charity. The judgment allows the 71-year-old Sheffield to continue working Keep Reading…

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Restitution falls short in repaying breach of trust

A former funeral home director has avoided jail by agreeing to pay restitution in an Involuntary Redistribution of Assets (IRA) case.  As executor of Vida C. Miller’s estate, Wade Sheffield chose to use trust funds as a bank to keep afloat troubled businesses belonging to himself and his former son-in-law instead of distributing assets to Keep Reading…

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Manhattan doctor accused of fleecing mother out of $800,000

Prosecutors are calling it an Astor copycat case Anemona Hartocollis January 24, 2008 The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/24/nyregion/24badson.html?em&ex=1201323600&en=f8097f5b2304a0b6&ei=5087%0A As with Brooke Astor, the late socialite and philanthropist, there is a son who took care of his elderly mother, and relatives who claim that he mistreated her. In the latest case, an Upper East Side doctor, Keep Reading…

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Manhattan doctor accused of fleecing mother out of $800,000

Though termed as a “mini-Astor” case, this tale still sounds like major wrongdoing. The sister is wrong when she opines that “this sort of thing doesn’t happen in families like that (i.e., upper middle class, intellectual people), that it’s somehow a lower-economic tragedy.” As we’ve said numerous times, wealth is relative. Read the cases highlighted Keep Reading…

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Lawyers feel pressured by personal plea of rookie judge in fundraising letters

Probate Judge Sanctioned Zuckerman Sought Campaign Money From Lawyers Appearing Before Him Kim Martineau (kmartineau@courant.com) January 12, 2008 The Hartford Courant http://fox61.trb.com/news/local/hc-madjudge0112.artjan12,0,1602734.story MADISON — — A local probate judge who solicited campaign cash from lawyers appearing in his courtroom has agreed to disqualify himself from hearing any contested matters those lawyers may have, the state Keep Reading…

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Lawyers feel pressured by personal plea of rookie judge in fundraising letters

Connecticut State Probate Court Administrator James Lawlor is a busy man these days.  Those randy Connecticut probate judges appear to be a handful.  On the heels of the resignation of former District of Portland probate judge Richard J. Guliani, a new tale of corruption has emerged from Madison.  Estate of Denial knows that public officials Keep Reading…

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I object! I sustain me!

Local Judge Suspended for Dual Role as Jurist and Lawyer in Three Cases Douglas S. Malan January 7, 2008 The Connecticut Law Tribune New York Lawyer – News Watch Richard J. Guliani’s 16-year term as probate judge for the District of Portland included his handling three cases in which he served not only as judge Keep Reading…

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Multi-tasking taken to extreme

We may all wear many “hats,” but a case from the District of Portland in Connecticut takes multi-tasking to a whole new level of idiocy as a probate attorney handled three cases in which he was also the judge. For an alleged legal professional to pull such a stunt, how can anyone not question his judgment, Keep Reading…

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Astor lawyer clients left him bequests

Serge F. Kovaleski and Colin Moynihan January 4, 2008 The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/04/nyregion/04morrissey.html?_r=1&em&ex=1199595600&en=5174fff7e9ab1c76&ei=5087%0A&oref=slogin Elisabeth von Knapitsch may not have known Brooke Astor, and Ms. von Knapitsch’s fortune — $15 million — was certainly modest compared with Mrs. Astor’s legendary wealth. But these two doyennes of Park Avenue did have someone in common during their Keep Reading…

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