Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guardianships: A Broken Trust: Albert Vassallo Sr.: From Friend to Friend to Enemy, Savitt Cites "Bad Blood"

James Vassallo can’t stop beating himself up. He blames himself for allowing [Elizabeth] Savitt to take control of his father’s finances. As result, he has a list of questions about Savitt’s actions that he says remains unanswered to his satisfaction.

Like in the O’Grady case, Vassallo sought the advice of Hark when he learned last year that his brother and sister had transferred $180,000 from the accounts of his father. And like in O’Grady, Hark steered him to Savitt, saying she would protect the assets of Albert Vassallo Sr., who was suffering from early stages of dementia.

Vassallo, who moved from Brooklyn to live next door and care for his father at Century Village in Deerfield Beach, says Savitt instead aligned with his sister who had taken $140,000 and other assets, according to demand letters.

Savitt successfully petitioned Judge French to remove Vassallo as a trustee to his father’s estate, which would have allowed him to retain some administrative control. Savitt claimed Vasallo wasn’t getting along with the very siblings, whose actions prompted him to seek the guardianship in the first place.

“If I knew her husband was a judge, I never would have went with her because whatever I said to her meant nothing. She can do whatever she wants because she has the court’s backing and that is exactly what is happening now,” said Vassallo.

In a voicemail that Vassallo still has, Savitt had assured him attorneys were working to remove his brother and sister but there was no reason to remove him because “you didn’t do anything wrong.” She did, however, suggest paying Hark more money to defend him just in case.
Elizabeth Savitt 

Vassallo said Savitt made her move to remove him from his father’s trust after he repeatedly questioned her billing practices. He estimates that Savitt and her attorneys collected $40,000 to get him off the trust. His father’s savings have been depleted by more than $200,000 in about year, he said.

Savitt said, “To accomplish getting he relief favorable to the Ward, and because of bad blood and conflicts between all three children of the Ward, it was agreed by the lawyers that I should be the sole trustee, not because of anything wrong James did.”

Vassallo produced email and bank statements showing how Savitt doubled-billed his father’s accounts by about $7,300 and did not pay it back until he confronted her with the bank account statements. “She never would have given that back on her own,” Vassallo said. The $7,300 plus a $3,000 retainer fee came before a judge approved them and even before she submitted a petition to the court for that money.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianships:  A Broken Trust:  Albert Vassallo Sr.:  From Friend to Friend to Enemy, Savitt Cites "Bad Blood"

1 comment:

StandUp said...

It's what they do -- they change hats and switch roles.