Probate Abuses Yet Again

Probate Abuses Yet Again

There are 88 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Apr 18, 2008, titled Probate Abuses Yet Again. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

According to friends, Margot Claus, a German citizen, is a fiercely independent New Yorker who wanted to spend her last years in her native land.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.

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Kim Manire

Van Alstyne, TX

#1 Apr 18, 2008
Mr. Green,

Great article!! This issue is going on all over the US. In all states and counties!!

Dementia, Alzheimer's, falling, hospital visits.... these are all the excuses the probate courts look at to determine if a guardian needs to be placed over a person. Oh there is more, but these are the main attractions. If the attorney, guardian, or potential guardian is known by the judge (friends, or contributor to the judge) then the judge appoints that person. There is then no oversite on the judge's part, and the appointed guardian and their attorney is then allowed to take the person over, lock them away form family and friends, start drugging them, then their money and other assests are sold, even family heirlooms are gone forever, the "guardians" are paid way over what they should be, some charge for things they don't do.

This issue needs to be made plubic, and not in just one state. Thank you for doing your part.

Kim
Caught in Corrupticut

AOL

#2 Apr 18, 2008
We have to wonder what makes CT probate courts think that just because someone is physically in the state of CT it gives them jurisdiction over the person' s life and property! Recent similar cases include Maydelle Trambarulo and Daniel Gross, both freed when Superior Court judges overturned the decisions of CT Probate Court judges on the grounds that CT DID NOT have jurisdiction over them as they were both out of state residents!
Then there is the case of a woman who IS a CT resident and was taken to Florida by the CT-approved (also living in FL) conservator. This woman's family WANTS her back in CT, but JUDGE DAVID HOPPER of Greenwich (longstanding member of the good ol' boys club) allows this travesty to continue! The conservator's own lawyer quit, saying she was unfit to take care of anyone!
YOU ASK WHY ?? It's all about the money, folks! These aren't the poor and homeless, they are wealthy (until Ct probate courts get ahold of them) and have loving families who want to take care of them. Remember the conservator's motto- "ISOLATE, MEDICATE, TAKE THE ESTATE"!!!
For more horror stories (if you don't believe this could happen in the "land of the free" 2008, and how to protect yourself, visit www.stopguardianabuse.org .
waterbury victim

Colchester, CT

#3 Apr 18, 2008
BABY BOOMERS BEWARE!!!
Imagine spending your life planning for a beautiful retirement.
Imagine instead you end up with someone taking control of your life, taking your possessions, forcing you to live where
you do not wish to live, forcing medications on you, isolating you from friends and loved ones.
Is this the beautiful future you planned? I bet not.
This is happenning now in our glorious country, the country
that speaks of human injustice to the world and then turns
a blind eye on our own citizens.
It is time to STOP this now.
We must tell our legislators to protect our constitutional rights, and those of every citizen, for what we tolerate will become our own fate.
Thank you Rick Green for once again bringing our attention to this continuing and abuse of power.
waterbury victim
Smitty

Watertown, CT

#4 Apr 18, 2008
It's always a good idea to take some time and designate your own conservator as part of your estate plan.
Tom from Madison

Ansonia, CT

#5 Apr 18, 2008
Mr. Green:

I have reviewed your article, and am a little disappointed in the lack of objectivity. I happen to know Mr. Brandt personally, and can assure you that he is about as fine and honest a human being as you will ever find.

Your article mentions nothing that Mr. Brandt has done that is either illegal or unethical. In fact, when notified that there may be some improper actions going on, he informed you that a hearing has been scheduled to take place next week.

To title your article "probate abuses once again", and then not cite to any specific abused by the Probate Court, you have showed your bias.

If in fact what is going on is that there is a fraud on the Court, then I am certain that will be addressed at the hearing. The title of your article in that instance should address the fraud of the "fiduciary", and not unnecessarily imply that the Probate Court acted improperly.

I am concerned about your topic, that a German woman from New York has her fate decided by a North Haven Court. However, I do not see that you cite any illegal conduct going on.
Tom from Madison

Ansonia, CT

#6 Apr 18, 2008
Mr. Green:
I have reviewed your article, and am a little disappointed in the lack of objectivity. I happen to know Mr. Brandt personally, and can assure you that he is about as fine and honest a human being as you will ever find.
Your article mentions nothing that Mr. Brandt has done that is either illegal or unethical. In fact, when notified that there may be some improper actions going on, he informed you that a hearing has been scheduled to take place next week.
To title your article "probate abuses once again", and then not cite to any specific abused by the Probate Court, you have showed your bias.
If in fact what is going on is that there is a fraud on the Court, then I am certain that will be addressed at the hearing. The title of your article in that instance should address the fraud of the "fiduciary", and not unnecessarily imply that the Probate Court acted improperly.
I am concerned about your topic, that a German woman from New York has her fate decided by a North Haven Court. However, I do not see that you cite any illegal conduct going on.
sheepdog

AOL

#7 Apr 18, 2008
Smitty wrote:
It's always a good idea to take some time and designate your own conservator as part of your estate plan.
Advance directives mean nothing. OFTEN the directives are ignored, and often the end result is tantamount to a re-written will.
Elaine Renoire

AOL

#8 Apr 18, 2008
Thank you for exposing the continuing problem of the CT probate courts and the lives torn apart by a system exemplifying the term “elder abuse”.

Conservatorships are used by the greedy and ruthless to exploit the very people the laws are designed to protect --- for profit! Lots of profit!

If we don’t clean up this mess, then we too will fall prey.

No one is safe. If you don’t believe it, read the many victims’ stories of the National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org .

Yours,
Elaine Renoire
NASGA Director
sheepdog

AOL

#9 Apr 18, 2008
Tom from Madison wrote:
Mr. Green:
I have reviewed your article, and am a little disappointed in the lack of objectivity. I happen to know Mr. Brandt personally, and can assure you that he is about as fine and honest a human being as you will ever find.
Your article mentions nothing that Mr. Brandt has done that is either illegal or unethical. In fact, when notified that there may be some improper actions going on, he informed you that a hearing has been scheduled to take place next week.
To title your article "probate abuses once again", and then not cite to any specific abused by the Probate Court, you have showed your bias.
If in fact what is going on is that there is a fraud on the Court, then I am certain that will be addressed at the hearing. The title of your article in that instance should address the fraud of the "fiduciary", and not unnecessarily imply that the Probate Court acted improperly.
I am concerned about your topic, that a German woman from New York has her fate decided by a North Haven Court. However, I do not see that you cite any illegal conduct going on.
I also reviewed the article and find nowhere that the colunnist (Mr. Green) stated or even implied that Mr. Brandt is involved in a fraud on the court. You may have read the article in haste. Apparently, the hearing will be held the week of April 28, and if the conservator/fiduciary has "removed Ms. Claus' personal property without court approval, and if, "Eger emptied Claus' Manhattan apartment, disposed of her possessions and found a buyer for the condo" and if "She itemized Claus' estate and placed her in an apartment that friends say is without a telephone" and this happened between Feb. and April, I'd say this is a travesty. I, myself, would even think it was misfeasance.
TWO MONTHS??
"The financial information in file suggests that the conservator had already converted significant assets into joint assets before the [conservatorship] decree was issued, raising additional questions why she was conducting large business transactions with an individual she claimed was suffering from dementia."
If there is the SLIGHTEST "suggestion" that something is awry with Ms. Claus' finances, since probate court's job is to preserve her estate, why does Eger still have control of her assets? "Brandt — a well-regarded probate judge — approved Eger as conservator of Claus' estate at a hearing on Feb. 26 that Claus did not attend" (Why didn't she attend?).
You said, "Your article mentions nothing that Mr. Brandt has done that is either illegal or unethical. In fact, when notified that there may be some improper actions going on, he informed you that a hearing has been scheduled to take place next week."
Of course the columnist didn't mention anything...Illegal or unethical but are those the only criteria by which this matter should be viewed?
I get very perturbed whenever anyone criticizes, or subtly tries to censure any member of the fourth estate. It's job is to inform the public. Kudos to Rick Green!
"I am concerned about your topic, that a German woman from New York has her fate decided by a North Haven Court. However, I do not see that you cite any illegal conduct..."
"Illegal" AGAIN??
The only legitimate job of Gov't is to protect the person, liberty and property of it's law abiding citizens.
Another Waterbury Victim
sheepdog

AOL

#10 Apr 18, 2008
Elaine Renoire wrote:
Thank you for exposing the continuing problem of the CT probate courts and the lives torn apart by a system exemplifying the term “elder abuse”.
Conservatorships are used by the greedy and ruthless to exploit the very people the laws are designed to protect --- for profit! Lots of profit!
If we don’t clean up this mess, then we too will fall prey.
No one is safe. If you don’t believe it, read the many victims’ stories of the National Association to STOP Guardian Abuse at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org .
Yours,
Elaine Renoire
NASGA Director
Thanks Elaine. Yes, this mess needs to be cleaned up. CT. has somewhere between 121 -127?? probate courts and probably 7 or 8 would do.
Actually, I think practicing attorneys should not be allowed to be a probate judge ( though even that wouldn't necessarily do away with the cronyism or patronage). Probate should be a special division of Superior Courts in my opinion.
You said, "If we don’t clean up this mess, then we too will fall prey.
No one is safe." But, there are ways to avoid probate court. Unfortunately, not enough people are told about how to do it. It's important for anyone who cares about themselves and their families to really seek out that information.
Stephanie Siddall Germack

Buffalo Grove, IL

#13 Apr 19, 2008
Thank you for your article. The problem IS nationwide. My mother's experience is taking place now in Ohio. The forced guardianship has cost my mother over $2 million. Her house was sold at over $100,000 less than the appraised value. Her possessions have either been pre-distributed or tossed. She's been robbed of her civil rights.

I'm doing what I can to help restore at least some of her freedom. Please read my book "Legal and Financial Exploitation of our Elders" available online at amazon.com , barnes& noble.com , borders.com , and lulu.com . God bless you.
Helen La Bounty

Aurora, CO

#14 Apr 19, 2008
Thank you for your untiring efforts at exposing issues involving human rights of the elderly. Most people do not realize as they work and save for their retirement that there exists a large chance their future will not go as planned. Their vision of retirment does not include court ordered imprisonment in long term care with a takeover of their life's accumulation of belongings and funds by the court. Family and affection is not a consideration or issue.

Those families across this nation affected by this well-designed plunder of elder lives and assets know that there is little recourse.......no help from any Ombudsman Program, Legal Aide Society or Congressmen. It remains a horrid secret hidden by society because few in the media have the courage to recognize it like Rick Green.
Paul La Bounty

Aurora, CO

#15 Apr 19, 2008
Thanks for your interest in the subject of guardianship and probate courts. People somehow believe that "proper planning" will alleviate the problem. Those of us who have suffered through an ordeal of probate court know better.

What the court does in the guise of "advocacy and protection" is little more than imprisonment, murder and plunder. The exposure you give to this horrible violation of human rights makes you a great advocate.

Paul La Bounty, Greely, Co
Helen La Bounty

Aurora, CO

#16 Apr 19, 2008
Tom from Madison wrote: I have reviewed your article, and am a little disappointed in the lack of objectivity. I happen to know Mr. Brandt personally, and can assure you that he is about as fine and honest a human being as you will ever find.

Your article mentions nothing that Mr. Brandt has done that is either illegal or unethical. In fact, when notified that there may be some improper actions going on, he informed you that a hearing has been scheduled to take place next week.

Tom, don't be so sensitive in protection of your friend, the JUdge.
Mr. Green was pointing out how the court allows these abuses and the effect on the ward and families. He did not address whether the court condoned or facilitated this particular case as many of us know, it often does.

He did point out that funds had already been diminished. If your feeling regarding the Judge is correct, he will be slower to award humans into the caste of guardianship and quicker to respond to complaints.
Kim Manire

Van Alstyne, TX

#17 Apr 19, 2008
Tom from Madison, this article is not intended to be biased as you feel it is, no I do not know the writter personally, however I do know that what he has written is the truth.

He is saying that the courts take over our elderly loved ones, lock them up, put them on drugs, and keep them from the people who love them the most, their family. All the while they are doing these things, the court and its appointed friends are rapeing and murdering our loved ones and their estates, charging outragous fees for their (the guardians) own "PRESERVATION AND PROTECTION" and not that of our loved ones, who they are charging hundreds of thousands of dollar to "PROTECT AND PRESERVE". Family members can not legally take their elderly loved ones and do these things "LEGALLY" as the law states. Why should the courts and its court appointed guardians be allowed to do them, and why should it not be called illegal?

How can you say that this should be done, and is legal, has it happened to you? Or are you a member of the courts that are allowing these things to be done to our elderly US. citizens?

Kim
Roxann

AOL

#18 Apr 19, 2008
Thank you ... all the people that have stories PLEASE CONTACT www.stopguardianabuse.org , wE ALL NEED TO GET TOGETHER AND BECOME A STRONG GROUP... AND THIS WAY WE CAN DO SOMETHING...
annie mckenna

Shoreham, NY

#19 Apr 19, 2008
Thank God for Rick Green's dedication to keeping conservatorship issues out in the open. This is a nightmare and the public must be educated on what is going on behind closed doors to our elderly.
ricbee

Shelton, CT

#20 Apr 19, 2008
Our judicial system is rotten to the core. Corrupticut permeates every pore.
There is no justice or rule of law left.
ilana

Delray Beach, FL

#21 Apr 19, 2008
i believe that this corruption has been going on long enough our senior citizen work all their lives and then a corrupt person and their attorneyos come and with the help of the corrupt judges sepates them from their loving family and after taking all their money they kill them with tdrugs like zyprexa. it is time these cases are investigated and the culprits put in jail where they belong.
Elaine Renoire

AOL

#22 Apr 19, 2008
sheepdog wrote:
<quoted text>Thanks Elaine. Yes, this mess needs to be cleaned up. CT. has somewhere between 121 -127?? probate courts and probably 7 or 8 would do.
Actually, I think practicing attorneys should not be allowed to be a probate judge ( though even that wouldn't necessarily do away with the cronyism or patronage). Probate should be a special division of Superior Courts in my opinion.
You said, "If we don’t clean up this mess, then we too will fall prey.
No one is safe." But, there are ways to avoid probate court. Unfortunately, not enough people are told about how to do it. It's important for anyone who cares about themselves and their families to really seek out that information.
You're right, there are ways to avoid probate -- but the problem is none of them are failsafe.

We are told if we create a Durable Power of Attorney, Living Will, Trust, etc., that our "affairs are in order" --- and that's true until a judge rolls right over your advance directives and expressed wishes in favor of a forced conservatorship.

Conservatorship has become a lawyer welfare system -- the "protectors" get rich exploiting their wards and the court rubber stamps it all -- leaving behind broken lives and broken bank accounts.

The National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse is an organization of victims and families of victims working together to expose and stop unlawful and abusive guardianships/conservatorships .

We take our hats off to reporters like Rick Green who have the courage and fortitude to tell it like it is and keep telling it!

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