Guardianship: Time for Accountability

isolationGuardianship abuse seems to be one of the most profitable scams of the day!  Are you safe from it?  Not necessarily.

Professional guardians, and professionals who become guardians, in some states, can isolate the ward (even from family and friends), bill outrageous amounts, sell houses and other property, take over bank accounts and make the ward’s life absolutely miserable as they do.  Don’t believe it?  Neither did many others, until it happened to them.

The public is led to believe they have the right to pick the person they wish to make decisions for them, should they become unable to do so or need some help.  However, in Florida, it appears, judges are allowed to ignore the person’s wishes and place him or her under the care of a professional guardian.  Once that appointment has been made, the family can be completely excluded from the ward’s life.  Worse, if there can be a worse, the ward is completely at the mercy of the guardian for better or for worse.

A guardian should be someone who is looking out for the best interest of the ward — not the ward being a money-making product to be billed to pennilessness.

When a guardian has already been chosen by the person, the courts should not be allowed to ignore that wish and appoint a professional guardian, unless there are some serious extenuating circumstances.

In my opinion, one of the first signs something is terribly wrong with a guardian situation is when the ward is isolated from family and friends.  This action alone suggests there is something to hide.  If not, then why would a guardian worry about the ward associating with all the people that had meant so much to him or her?

People who don’t understand the harm isolation can do, should spend a couple of months alone in a room with no stimulation and the only human contact (and brief words exchanged) being when someone brings a meal and picks up the tray.  That experiment will give you a taste of what many under guardianship go through and what you may one day be looking forward to, if the laws are not changed.

The courts should not have the right to over-ride a person’s wishes, without true cause to do so.  This is a person’s life after all.  And family members and friends should be considered for guardianship prior to any professional being thought of.

Professional guardians should be held to the strictest of standards and there should be no immunity for them not also given to a family member or friend acting in the same capacity.

Guardians should not be allowed to create bills and then sell off the ward’s home and possessions to make payment, as easily as it seems it can be done in many jurisdictions.

Wards should not lose the right to fight for their freedom from guardianship, especially if it is a wrongful one.  As it is, if the guardian has all the say — the ward can be silenced and kept from fighting against an abuse guardianship situation.  How is that right?  Doesn’t that defeat the very purpose of guardianship?

Guardianship may have been created to help those who had no one to help them, but it has evolved into a money-making adventure too often gone wrong.  It’s time for review.  It’s time to fix the loop-holes and laws that allow the wards to become nothing more than pawns and products to use up, drain and throw away.  It’s time to limit judicial and guardianship control and to hold the system accountable!

5 thoughts on “Guardianship: Time for Accountability

  1. Guardianship and conservatorship has become a threat to the health and wealth of our vulnerable elderly and/or disabled — and to the nation’s economy which is forced to pick up the Medicaid tab for wards of the state “protected” into indigence.

    Thank you for this article and for enlightening the unwary public!

  2. big scam, no oversight i may have to shine da light on this rip off. i note that not all guardians are immoral scum, some are kind, loving and fair…. i met an uncle once who had to care for his niece… rather than “spend” all her social security money, he loyally and respectfully put every single nickle into a savings account, invested some in bonds, and was a good steward of her affairs – she grew up to go to college, and owed her future, past and the NOW to her loving loyal uncle…

    great true story, Carrie….

    but not everyone is like her Uncle Freddie

    • Such a wondrous story! Thank you for sharing! See, that was family taking care of family and an excellent example! Sadly, in places like Florida, a judge can decide to take away guardianship from family and put it in the hands of a professional guardian. Thereafter, the professional guardian can decide who may visit and who may not. Most people have no clue such horrors are taking place. Here is one site that deals with guardianship abuse and related stories — National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse — .

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and sharing! People in authority need to be reminded of how guardianship should work.

  3. Thank you, Carrie, for shining the light on a very dark corner of our society that most people do not know about unless this has happened to them. I had no idea thinking that my case/story was an isolated one until I did more research and found NASGA and Boomers Against Elder Abuse. Did I ever get an education along with our experiences. My heart is with all family members who have had to endure this societal catastrophe! It is my hope that through all advocates this stops and others do not have to go through what we have been through. Time to keep our families together for family is the foundation of humanity.

    Thank you again for your support, Carrie!

  4. Dear Carrie,

    I just had completed my last cancer treatment, when I was blindsided with the exact same thing that you described about Guardianship! After 3 hearings, four lawyers, and paying her physician of 40 years 1,000 hr. We lost the the case. It was the worse nightmare, in my life! Cancer was nothing compared to what I had to deal with trying to help my 92 year old mother from going in a home for absolutely no reason other then grabbing her assets! Talk about a big Scam! Her home was everything, she had worked two jobs to buy and pay off a home only for the state to grab it away from her like it was theirs! My up most goal is to bury these corrupt Guardianship associations! What ever I can do to save another person from being ripped out of their homes for no apparent reason at all! I’m still trying to fight for my mother who continues to try to understand what did she do wrong to deserve that nightmare!

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