A probate judge in Denton County has ruled that a mentally ill woman, whose trust has dwindled from half a million dollars to about $50,000, should handle her own affairs.
Judge Don Windle announced his decision Tuesday after a daylong hearing to determine whether Michelle Cohen required a guardian for herself and her finances.
American National Bank, which oversees the Henrietta Neufeld Cohen Trust on behalf of Cohen, filed for a limited permanent guardianship of Cohen and the estate last June. The bank took on the role of trustee in 2008 from Wachovia. At the transfer, there was about $135,000 left in the trust.
After this week's hearing, there is unlikely to be much left in the trust.
Probate attorney Jack Wilburn testified that he expects the trust to be "zero or close to zero when everything is said and done."
In dismissing the case, Judge Windle said that there was little point in ordering restrictions when there was little of Cohen's money left to restrict.
He said he would leave it to Cohen to pursue attorneys to investigate whether any of the prior trustees breached their fiduciary duty during their oversight of the trust.
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