Tuesday, December 24, 2013

NJ Man Free of Guardianship He Said He No Longer Needs!

A 75-year-old placed under the care of a public guardian after suffering a traumatic brain injury in a fall almost two years ago finally has won back his independence.

But Ken Schmidt's savings and many of his assets are gone — sold off to pay for his assisted-living care, his guardian told him.

" 'It's all gone.' That's their classic answer: 'I'm sorry, it's all gone.' And they won't give me anything in writing," Schmidt said in September. "Everything's just disappeared."

The state placed Schmidt, a retired insurance salesman, in a $5,000-a-month assisted-living facility more than a year ago. He had had many of his civil rights stripped away after he fell and hit his head in Jan. 30, 2012, on the sidewalk outside his home here. A judge declared him mentally incapacitated and ordered the state public guardian to take charge of his assets and medical care under New Jersey's guardian laws.

But Schmidt said he fully recovered from his injuries in September 2012. The problem was getting the judgment of incapacity lifted; that happened Dec. 16.

In the meantime:
• His $65,000 in savings is gone.
• The townhouse that he owned mortgage free six miles from the assisted-living center is in foreclosure because of a reverse mortgage he previously had taken out.
• The property also has $5,960 lien against it for unpaid condominium maintenance fees.
• All of the utilities were turned off, presumably because of $1,700 in unpaid bills.
• Much of his furniture, his books and all his dishes and flatware are missing — sold off by the public guardian.

"This doesn't seem fair. Not that anything in life is fair, but it's sort of ridiculous," Schmidt said during his first visit back home last week, shortly after discovering that his computer was gone, too.

"It's unbelievable. I've spent my whole life building things up, and now I have to start over again — and this time with no money," he said.

Full Article, Video and Source:
N.J. man free of guardianship he said he no longer needs


Anonymous said...


StandUp said...

What a victory! Thank you for posting NASGA. It gives me some much needed cheer on the holiday.

Betty said...

Wow, release is so rare. I am happy for you Mr. Schmidt.

Finny said...

I'm so pleased for his success. Now, of course, he has to start all over from scratch. And that's awful and I hope those who did this to him are held accountable.

But, he's a free bird and that's wonderful.

Nancy said...

We certainly are ending the year on a strong note.

I realize this man has a long way to go to get his life back, but I am hoping someone steps up to help him rebuild.

God is good.

Anonymous said...

It's a sick sick system

Audrey said...

Look what they did to this man. I hope he sues them all.

Diane said...

That is incredibly wonderful news about his freedom! But he needs a full accounting of where his money went and I am sure if a forensic accounting was done, he would be entitled to the return of 80% of it. Good luck to you sir. I wish another miracle for you!

Anne Trambarulo Haines said...

Unfortunately this whole situation happened legally and in the "best interests" of Mr Schmidt in the eyes of our judicial system. Small consolation to Mr Schmidt who now must start over through no fault of his own. It happened to my mother, Maydelle Trambarulo and can happen to anyone! Support NASGA and inform yourself of the dangers and consequences of guardianships and conservatorships.