A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has been asked to order a pair of attorneys to pay up to $85,000 to reimburse an elderly lady who was driven into poverty while under the protection of Probate Court.
No, attorney Brenda Church isn't on the hook. She and her law firm soaked up more than $230,000 from Marie Long in 2009 alone, according to court records. That is 54 percent of everything the 89-year-old widow had left last year, after four years in probate. Church hasn't been asked to return a dime of the $333,000 she and her law firms have collected since becoming involved with Marie's trust in 2005.
The Sun Valley Group isn't on the hook either. The Tempe-based fiduciary collected more than $53,000 in guardian fees last year, 12.5 percent of what was left of Marie's life savings in 2009. Court records show Sun Valley has collected a staggering $417,000 in guardian and care fees over the 4 1/2 years it was watching over Marie. It hasn't been asked to return a single cent.
The only people being asked to pony up are the people who largely worked for free - the ones who pleaded time and again for the courts to stop the wholesale siphoning of Marie's accounts. In the world of probate, they're the ones to blame for the old lady becoming destitute and dependent on taxpayers for support.
[T]he woman who previously oversaw Marie's trust - a niece who resigned as trustee more than a year ago - is asking Judge Robert Budoff to order the return of $85,000 to the trust. But not from the people who wound up with most of the money. Genevieve Olen wants Marie's sisters and attorneys Jon Kitchel and Dan Raynak to pony up.
Full Article and Source:
Still No Justice in Probate Case