Thursday, December 19, 2013

Marie Long, a Widow 'Protected' into the Poorhouse, Gets Some of Her Money Back - Finally!

The elderly widow wasn’t asking for much. Just a little protection so she could live out her life as she’d planned.

So that she could go out to lunch with friends or buy a new hat or new teeth.

Instead, Marie Long was protected right into the poorhouse. In just four years, the woman who came into Probate Court with $1.3 million in assets was left penniless, her life savings sucked up by the very people appointed to watch over her — all as the judge looked on.

Or away, more likely.

As a result of what happened to Marie Long, laws were changed and reforms were enacted in the hope of better protecting the most vulnerable among us.

All that is, except for Marie.

Now, at long last — and with no thanks to the courts —Marie Long, at 92, has a little of her own back.

Marie had no children to look after her in her old age. Her daughter died of cancer long ago at age 16. The following year, her 20-year-old son was killed in Vietnam. When her husband, Cliff, died in 2003, Marie was in good financial shape.

But a stroke in 2005 and a family dispute over where and how she would live landed Marie under the “protection” of Maricopa County’s Probate Court.

By 2009, her $1.3 million estate was gone, much of it sucked up by attorneys and fiduciaries under the not-so-watchful eye of then-Commissioner Lindsay Ellis.

Ellis ruled that those attorneys and fiduciaries were justified in helping themselves to more than $1 million of Marie’s money. She lambasted Marie’s lawyers — Kitchel, Pat Gitre and Marie’s nephew Dan Raynak, people who for years volunteered their services to help Marie as her accounts dwindled.

Ellis wrote that their “venomous” attacks challenging the six-figure bills forced the fiduciaries and lawyers on the other side to defend themselves.

With Marie’s money, naturally.

Full Article and Source:
Widow ‘protected’ into the poorhouse gets some of her money back (finally)

See Also: (NOTE:  NASGA worked directly with CBS in 2010 on the report listed below.)
CBS Evening News- Guardianship Agency Costs Elderly Woman Dearly


StandUp said...

Good news! I hope there is also an investigation of the former judge and the lawyers.

Finny said...

Great news! I hope every cent of it will be used for here care. I remember she was embarrassed to be put on the public dole.

sharon stephens said...

I am getting to the age where I will need some sorta care with my bad health. I am giving away everything to whom I want it to go to.

Anonymous said...

This is great news. It's not exactly justice, but still it goes along way toward getting there.

NASGA said...

I want to extend NASGA's thanks to the reporter, Laurie Roberts, who never quit and just kept on reporting what was going on in this case from the very beginning and at every new event.
Reporters like her are priceless!

Sue said...

To Sharon I understand your desire to have control of your possessions as it should be. In a conservatorship most often the locks are changed on the residence all that is inside is now the conservators property; treasured items, photographs, family memorabilia, cherished letters and mementos with no financial worth to the conservator of the estate end up in a dumpster it's heartbreaking and wrong.

Valuables most often are lifted from the residence not found on the inventory the rest gets auctioned off quickly to unload and convert into cash.

I'm on the same plan Sharon. Wishing you well and the peace of mind to know you are taking care of business before someone else makes those decisions for you which will not be in your best interests.

Take care.

Thelma said...

Good news! Too bad she can't recover all.

Jill said...

Good news for Marie Long. I followed that case closely when it was in the press a lot. It was disgusting what the greedy guardian and attorneys did to this woman and her sisters. I know they'll get a good case of karma eventually, but I wish they'd get it now when Marie Long is still alive. It would give her a smile.

Mary said...

We're all celebrating this one!

honeybear said...

'Tis the season to be jolly and this gives us good reason!

Thelma said...

Nice to hear at this time of year, but not good enough!

Feckless fiduciaries should be made to pay back ALL, or go to jail - or AND go to jail!