Did you know that less than half of American adults have developed documentation as part of the estate planning process? Creating legal agreements are critical to ensuring that your end of live wishes are followed it become disablied or after your death. The thre major documents from which to choose are Durable Power of Attorny,trusts and wills.
Depending on your financial assets, situation, and complexity, it is often appropriate to go with a living trust for estate planning purposes. Following are 3 major benefits:
Did you know that a will can publicly published once filed with the Court? As it goes through probate court proceedings, it becomes a public court record. This may pose an issue if you prefer to keep the details of your asset distribution confidential. A living trust allows you to do this. Because a living trust is not filed with the court, it is only available to the person who develops the document and the assigned Trustee. (An example of this is a letter of future incapasity.)
Eliminate Probate (You DO want to do everything you can to stay out of probate court!! It's a scam that take 41 billion dollars a year from families and puts it in lawyers pockets!)
A living trust or a POA can be put to work without having to go through lengthy and potentially costly probate court proceedings. A guardianship or will, however, requires probate court proceedings to ensure that all assets are distributed as documented. Eliminating probate proceedings will save your heirs time, frustration and most of the money, providing faster access to funds and saving the attorney and court fees required for probate.
Protect Any Disability
A will only instructs heirs in the event of your death. A durable Power of Attorney can be added as an alternative to guardianship. A living trust, however, provides instructions to your Trustee in the event that you become disabled, extremely ill, or incapacitated.
There are additional reasons why a living trust may be a better estate planning solution over a will, but much depends on your personal financial situation. Be sure to discuss these matters with a trusted attorney to identify the best solution for your particular needs. Keep reading to learn more about why you need to stay out of Probate court.
They can question if you leave loopholes. The way not to leave loopholes is:
1. Buy a video camera.
2. Gather everyone that could fight your wishes in the same room and ...on camera read your letter for future incapacity and your will.
3. Before reading those documents on camera Tell the room, on camera, that you are not on any medication, such as painkillers and that you are not drunk.
4. Then video record each person in the room and ask them if they believe you are of sound mind, not drunk or on medication. If anyone says no I don't believe you are of sound mind, you are drunk or you are on medication.
5. Stop the camera and say "Fine leave the room your out of the Will." When they change their mind (and they will) start the camera again and get their new answer. Lawyers know they need to do this but they don’t because if they did there would be nothing left that could be argued.
Guardianship Financial Abuse Is Rampant
Court appointed certified guardians are supposed to look after and protect the interests of their wards, both financially and physically. Unfortunately, it has become all too common for these paid stranger guardians to take advantage of their disabled and elder wards.
The purpose of court appointed guardians is a simple and noble one. When a person is not competent to handle his or her own affairs, then a court can appoint a guardian to act on the person's behalf. The guardian is supposed to act selflessly and in the best interests of the ward.
However, as the Wall Street Journal reports, in "Abuses Plague Guardianship Systems Across the Country," the financial abuse of elderly people by guardians is rampant throughout the United States.
In Texas this summer I was a witness to one paid guardian losing her certification. The Judicial Branch Certification Commission is tasked with policing guardians in the state of Texas. Web site http://www.txcourts.gov/jbcc.aspx This particular guardian had 53 wards under her care, Some as far as 400 miles away. She lost her license because her wards didn’t have clothes, toiletries. They were being taken to doctor appointment and she was stealing their money. The husband for this guardian lost his certification the previous year. Her mother is still a certified guardian. I am thankful they revoked her certification. However what does that really mean? Do the judges who appointed her get notified that she lost her certification? No. Does Social security and or Medicare get notified not to send these poor souls money to this woman any more? No. She was fined $25,000.00. However she has two years to pay it and if she does not pay what will they do put her in jail? No is the state willing spend $1000.000.00 suing her to recover $25,000.00? No. This happened in July and as of Today December 12, 2015, despite many attempts by myself and another advocate to report that these people all need a welfare check by an ombudsman ….we still don’t know if these persons under guardianship are still being taken advantage of by this ex-professional guardian.
Court appointed guardians with no family relationship to the elderly wards too often act in their own interests and deplete the wealth of the wards and leave them to be neglected in nursing homes.
Do not fall victim to an abusive guardian.
Protect yourself, your elder or your disabled relative. You can find out how in a previous post.
TO CREATE A DATE BASE OF VARIOOUS STATE LAW MAKERS WHO FIGHT FOR THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED.
DISCLAIMER: The information presented here is not intended to serve as legal advice or to take the place of a professional legal consultation. The creators of this web site shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information presented on this web site.
T0 CREATE A DATE BASE OF ACTIVE ADVOCATES AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT SHARE OUR MISSION
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is with gratitude and humility that I am permitted to announce that I have become the Director of G. R. A. D. E., Guardianship Reform Advocates for the Disabled and Elderly. The goal of this site to to connect advocates to each other and to resources that we all need to reform guardianship. We won't tell you want to do or how to do it. We don't presume to know how politics works in your state. We ask you what you need and try to get it for you. What do you have to do to become a member of G.R.A.D.E.? Just let us know. There are no costs, no obligations. The only rule is that if you are approaching anyone under the G.R.A.D.E. banner you do so respectfully. No rants.
For those of you who are new to this site let me introduce myself. I am an author of a book, Probate Pirates, a book where you can find out what your lawyer won't tell you about probate court. I take a look inside the biggest organized crime currently being perpetrated on Americans to find out why probate court is not about protecting the elderly, but why It's a machine designed to systematically fleece old people of their money and humanity. I learned Probate piracy is a growth industry, a ridiculously easy crime with an almost zero chance of getting caught. These crimes are all conducted in probate court and are completely under the radar.
I also administer 3 web sites, G. R. A. D. E. , Honest probate attorneys.com and Judge Rickoff sucks. Com
I am also the administrator of 3 facebook pages regarding guardianship reform, Boomers against guardianship Abuse (both group and page) The Tribe, and G.R.A.D.E. A large part of my responsibilities is to spread public awareness that we have a 41 trillion dollar a year problem with the Probate courts in this country.
However, the most important job that I have is working with other advocates and lawmakers across the country to promote and support their efforts to reform guardianship laws.
Facebook pages, and websites are fine. National press is even better, but both of those are only stepping stones to the goal of having a seat at the table in your state capital to write and help pass into law reforms in guardianship.
It’s time for our membership drive. Your membership and support really mean a lot to G. R. A. D. E. and give us a real boost for the important work we do on behalf of all the elderly and with people with developmental disabilities. If they are under guardianship they are “dead in the eyes of the law and can no longer speak for themselves in probate court. G. R. A. D. E. wants to change that.
In the coming year we will continue our work on a number of projects including implementing the Bill of rights of the ward, Alternatives to guardianship and several accountability and barratry laws that are so urgently needs to stop the abuses.
By the way, if you know of any organization that would like a presentation about guardianship reform, or elderly and disability awareness or community participation, please give us a call.
In the coming year, we plan to produce an hour long TV show on Texas guardianship issues for Public Access and write reform laws that will be turned in as bill proposals in several states. I would like to thank you in advance for becoming a member of G. R. A. D. E.
Please continue to share the goals and work of your self-advocacy with people you know in your workplace and community. You can help us spread the word by encouraging others to become members.
Please go to the contact page to send in your request for membership.
If you want to help spread the of your advocacy web site and have it listed as a link on this site please go to the contact page and give us the link to your site. Together we are stonger!
J Kristi Hood
New bill's for Washington State on New Guardianship Reform laws page.
INSPIRE THE MEDIA
TO CREATE A DATE BASE OF INTERESTED MEDIA OUTLETS.
Our mission first and always is to support guardianship reform at the state and federal level. We will advocate for the victims and their family that contact us. G.R.A.D.E. strives to be a resource that can be used by all our fellow advocates allies in every state. G.R.A.D.E. works to help advocates get media coverage. G.R.A.D.E. takes the time educate advocates on how to contact their law makers. G.R.A.D.E. provides reform laws already passed and bill proposals currently in the works. G.R.A.D.E. publishes the reform laws regarding guardianship across the country and encourages they be shared by all. Together we are stronger than each of us is alone. If we can work together we WILL make a difference.