For years, Dennis Ball was his mother's [Eleanor]caregiver, helped create her trusts and managed her money.
But in 2004, Eleanor was hospitalized, and her estranged daughter, Carol, got a restraining order against Dennis and petitioned the court for temporary guardianship.
Although Eleanor initially protested the petition, she later agreed to the appointment of a neutral third-party conservator and guardian. She specifically asked that the court allow her to continue living at home and keep her estate plan.
The court appointed Southwest Fiduciary to manage her money and care, even though Southwest's attorney was also Carol's attorney.
Billing records show that over the next 22 months, Southwest and its attorneys managed Eleanor's assets and care, consulting more with Carol than Dennis. .Southwest sold off Eleanor's home and rental properties. It assumed control of her trust, took over her bank accounts and placed Eleanor in a nursing homeDennis said Southwest left his mother penniless. An accountant retained by Dennis found that 76 percent of her estate paid Southwest's legal and administrative fees.
Southwest owner Greg DoVico would not discuss the Ball case. But in answering complaints to the Arizona Supreme Court's fiduciary board, the company said Dennis refused to cooperate with the court, was sanctioned by a judge for filing a frivolous motion and financially exploited his mother, which he denies. The company said his complaints were based on half-truths.
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Maricopa County Probate Court - Sister, Fiduciary Had Same Attorney