Thursday, June 18, 2009

We'll restore her rights as soon as we spend all her money

By way of Wills, Trust and Estates blog is this story from the Star Tribune in Minneapolis with the tagline "An Excelsior woman joined the growing ranks of Minnesotans who lose control of their finances to lightly regulated guardians."

Last month, a state study concluded that the system has inadequate procedures for dealing with complaints, evaluating a ward's well-being and keeping track of money.

Peggy Greer became addicted to morphine after a back injury. Her daughter petitioned for co-guardianship with her brother in July 2004. A home health care worker checked on Greer and found her malnourished and dehydrated and she was removed to a hospital. The family agreed that a third party should take over the decision making. A professional guardian was assigned.

Greer broke her chemical dependency and regained her capacity, but was unable to break the bonds of conservancy.

During that two-year guardianship, she claims her assets were were wasted, they spent her money (over $600,000) and took a reverse mortgage out on her house, plus she ended up paying for everyone's attorney fees as required under Minnesota law.

The reporter writes:

"In the spring of 2007, the guardian no longer opposed having her rights restored. The change coincided with the fact that Greer's assets had been exhausted."

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