Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guardianships: A Broken Trust: Robert Wein, Costly Try at Annulling Marriage

The case of Robert Wein illustrates the often savage nature of guardianship cases. Family members say [Elizabeth] Savitt splits families into camps by pursuing what is called “staged litigation,” settling disputes in court to run up fees.

On one side is Daniel Wein, Robert’s brother.

The other side is Robert’s wife, Vita, and Jodi Rich, Daniel’s estranged daughter.

Rich said all Savitt has done as guardian is “bill, bill, bill” and criticized her lack of success in tracking down$700,000 in promissory notes owed to her late uncle, who died Dec. 1. Robert Wein was worth up to $3 million, according to court documents.

Though married in 1958, the couple renewed their vows in 2014 and obtained a Florida marriage license. Daniel Wein believed his brother divorced Vita, 82, and wasn’t competent enough to remarry. So for the last months of Robert Wein’s life, Savitt — as his guardian — focused on undoing the union of this elderly couple in a fight over what would be a lucrative estate.

Vita, as a spouse, can claim one-third of Wein’s estate. Daniel claims Vita Wein and Jodi Rich are interested only in that money.

“She has been guardian for 12 months and hasn’t done anything except try to dissolve the marriage of these two elderly people who had been married for 58 years,” said Rich before Wein’s death. “So there are two marriage licenses. Who cares? What’s the difference? They wanted to end their life together.”

Emails show Savitt discussing with Daniel Wein trying to get the authority to annul Robert’s marriage, contending he and Vita were divorced and that she tricked him into remarrying in 2014. Savitt also was trying before Robert’s death to amend the trust to give Daniel $150,000.

“Daniel and Savitt, they are in bed together,” Rich said. “We have a lot of evidence.”

Litigation on the marriage issue resulted in an expensive 2½ hour court hearing and depositions before the matter was dropped unceremoniously by Savitt at a hearing in August.

Elizabeth Savitt
“Savitt is the culprit here. She is the one who caused all the problems,” Rich said. “She shouldn’t be a guardian.” Daniel Wein, though, praised Savitt for protecting his brother’s assets.

“I don’t know how she handles her other cases; I know with this, particularly with my brother, they have been aboveboard,” he said.

Vita Wein, though, has pressed Savitt to explain her actions.

In a June 10 deposition and in his motion for Savitt’s removal, Vita’s attorney at the time, Rosenwater, repeatedly tried to get the judge’s wife to say why she hadn’t filed one invoice in the case in eight months but took $17,000 without prior court approval.

When Savitt refused to answer a question about whether she had any objections to a critical report to the court on Wein, Rosenwater was exasperated. “She can’t answer. It’s amazing,” he said.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianships:  A Broken Trust:  Robert Wein, Costly Try at Annulling Marriage


Betty said...

I have heard that bad guardians will fix marriages either by breaking them up or by putting people together for the guardian's advantage of course.

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