SANTA CRUZ — When a parent or grandparent cannot manage their assets, setting up a conservatorship can be a daunting task. Navigating the legal system and paying attorney's fees can leave many families out of luck.
For hundreds of residents of Santa Cruz and San Benito counties in the past five years, free help could be found at the Conservatorship and Elder Abuse Prevention Program at Santa Cruz County Superior Court. Yet its funding could dry up at the end of this year.
The program had been funded in the past five years by a grant from the California State Bar Association, said Terry Hancock, directing attorney at the Senior Citizens Legal Center that runs the program. The grant was $54,000 in 2011 and $40,000 in 2012.
The grant money was expected to taper off in five years as leaders found new funding sources to sustain it. But those sources never materialized.
"The idea is access to justice," said Darcee Olson, a staff attorney with the nonprofit Senior Citizens Legal Services that runs the program. "It's a phenomenal program, and there's a big need for it."
Full Article and Source:
Elder-abuse prevention program could end in Watsonville, Santa Cruz