Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Guardianships: A Broken Trust: The High Cost of Family Discord; Fees Blossom in Couret

The families involved in guardianship cases are often broken. Brothers hate sisters. Fathers characterize their own daughters as evil for opposing them in court. It’s not unusual for many family members to hire lawyers themselves, accusing one another of scheming to get the riches of the incapacitated senior.

Families who spoke to The Post say [Elizabeth] Savitt exploits those rifts to pursue litigation that drives up her fees. Savitt’s attorneys, though, say it’s the family rancor that necessitates costly actions in guardianships, such as removing a sibling from a trust of a senior.

“I don’t know if they seek out cases where there is family dysfunction, but they certainly take advantage of it,” said Bruce Rosenwater, a West Palm Beach attorney who sought to remove Savitt from a guardianship.

Elizabeth Savitt
Some family members applaud Savitt. The husband of one of her wards, Dolores Thur, said she’s been a good caretaker and his wife’s assets have been documented painstakingly. Lester Thur, 84, says he doesn’t think any criticism of Savitt is justified even though his wife’s case is under investigation by the clerk, which has questioned several items in the annual inventory, including double-billing.

In five Savitt cases The Post examined, however, family members said the judge’s wife seemed more interested in the money from the estate than caring for the incapacitated senior.

The cases involved Brooklyn plumber Vassallo, 87; Kansas schoolteacher Helen O’Grady, 83; New York accountant Robert Paul Wein, 89; Chicago-area decorator Lorraine Hilton, 94; and Gwendolyn Batson, 89, a retired school administrator who lived in Lake Worth.

O’Grady died in 2012, Batson in 2013 and Wein died Dec. 1, but the other two are still alive and under the power of Savitt.

Full Article and Source:
High Cost of Family Discord:  Fees Blossom in Court

1 comment:

Betty said...

Bad guardians work all angles to keep the litigation going. And their attorneys are the ones who really profit.