Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guardianships: A Broken Trust: Helen O'Grady: Lawyer Agahst as Savitt Withdraws $30,000

Thomas Mayes of Boynton Beach sought legal advice in a dispute with his two brothers over his mother’s health care and finances. His attorney, Clifford Hark of Boca Raton, recommended [Elizabeth}Savitt as a guardian for his mother, Helen O’Grady.

Even with Savitt as guardian, it was Mayes who made his mother’s doctor’s appointments, managed her transportation, readied her house for sale — all tasks he thought Savitt should have handled.

After Mayes’ mother died, Savitt recommended that the family urge the court to appoint her curator of the estate, telling them it would save money for her to temporarily manage it until the family disputes were settled.

Once that happened and Mayes became personal representative of the estate, he said he could not get Savitt to pony up details of his mother’s financial picture and relinquish control.

Elizabeth Savitt
Before Mayes could get a grip on his mother’s finances, Savitt starting withdrawing money, court pleadings show.

She wrote herself a check for $1,725 and another for $1,745 to Hazeltine for fees before a judge approved it, according to a pleading filed by attorneys. Hazeltine said Savitt obtained an order allowing her to write the checks, but the order Hazeltine referenced said nothing about fees, court documents show.

Then Savitt took without proper court approval $30,000 to be “held in trust” by her and Hazeltine.

“This action is so beyond the realm of reasonable conduct that I can hardly express myself right now,” Mayes’ attorney, Christopher Salivar, said in a series of emails to Hazeltine.

Mayes’ lawyers, Andrew M. Schwartz and Salivar, told the court that Savitt actions amounted to the unlawful taking of O’Grady’s property.

“The foregoing actions in and of themselves fall within the textbook legal definition of conversion.”

Mayes agreed. “To me, I thought it was a criminal act. They were intentionally stealing it. This is how they make their money.”

Judge Edward Garrison ordered Savitt and Hazeltine to return all but about$2,600 of the $30,000.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianships: A Broken Trust

1 comment:

Betty said...

I really want to thank this reporter. These stories are heartbreaking and people need to know they might be next.