Saturday, March 15, 2008

Guardianship Nightmare

After Mary Garofalo's Fox 5 video expose on abusive guardians, Fox 5 Investigates: Guardian Abuse, where she highlighted both Maydelle Trambarulo and Esta Varon, Maydelle's family was able to take their mother home during the taping.
See also: Maydelle is free at last!

Esta Varon remained in the assisted living facility against her wishes.

On Friday March 7, 2008, a hearing in a Long Island court was held about whether Esta Varon's guardian would step down, and he did, after which the judge ordered that Esta could leave the assisted living place and go home to live with her son.

Sounds good, right?

Of course, it is good that she is going to be returned to her family. However, the issue that should have been discussed is whether or not she needed any guardian at all. How was she found to be incapacitated? She has still lost all of her rights, only now her children are in control instead of a stranger. In addition, all of her money is spent and the court record does not even reflect the behavior of guardian Sam Rausman and how he never made a mandatory 90 day report until Mary Garofalo's FOX video show aired, and was never required to explain any of the outrageous billings.

Where is the accounting for the 300 plus thousand dollars that has been spent over the last 8 months? Who did it go to, and why? And why can't Esta Varon go back to her apartment if she so chooses? Esta, who has committed no crime does not have that option.

The guardianship law in New York says that the courts must, when at all possible, honor the Ward's wishes, and that a guardianship should only happen as a last resort.

See also:
Fox 5 Investigates: Guardian Abuse

This Could Happen to Someone You Love

Who's the Boss?

Esta Varon, New York Victim

A special thanks to NASGA member Annie McKenna for her dedication in helping victims of guardianship and conservatorship abuse.


Anonymous said...

NYS made some effort, after media exposure in 2001, to start monitoring guardianship, but has since fallen down on the job.

We need to request more public hearings on the issues and request legislative oversight.

If the woman didn't need guardianship, why should the vultures keep the money? They should be sued for damages instead!

Anonymous said...

Esta's case is yet another example of how easy it is to be put into a guardianship, and how hard it is to get out of one.
In the beginining, before the victim or their family really understands what the consequences are, the perps make it sound like a good thing. Then, once the vic is in their clutches, it is like a fly struggling in a spiderweb, and remember what happens to the spider's prey? They are sucked dry!
Public hearings and legislative oversight would be OK, but what is really needed is for guardianships and conservatorships to be taken away from the probate courts and lawyers charging $200+/hr! Without the huge profits to be made, cases of abuse would be close far less.