Friday, June 12, 2009

“Guardian of Mentally Ill” Probate Case

More information on the Mary Kass case.
See: Battle of Artist Wills

An ailing artist, her wealth and future were flung into the spotlight.

The Boston Globe revealed on its front page sealed court proceedings in the guardianship case of resident Mary Kass, a student of Hans Hofmann in the 1950s in Provincetown and an art patron.
As a result of the sudden publicity local police were posted outside Kass’s East End home on Commercial Street, at the request of her lawyer, until valuables could be removed. That coverage lasted for about 10 hours, police said, at a cost of $32 per hour, just after the Globe story broke.

Kass’s niece and nephew, both from the Washington, D.C. area, filed a lawsuit late last year in Barnstable against Kass’s primary caretaker, resident Elizabeth “Betty” Villari. The case is labeled a “guardian of mentally ill” probate case, with Kass as the ward under consideration.

According to the Globe, the plaintiffs alleged that Villari, a personal trainer who co-owns a local gym, and psychotherapist Mary Ellen Henry, also a resident, took advantage of Kass’s diminished mental state to gain control over her and her assets, including the purchase of three waterfront homes.

Full Article and Source:
Wealthy artist’s competency case made public

She lived in a modest, brown house on a narrow Provincetown street. Few knew of her vast wealth, the valuable works of art she owns. And that is how the intensely private artist apparently wanted it. Mary Kass studied with renowned artists, exhibited her paintings in Provincetown, and displayed her work in Denmark, France, and Switzerland.

Now 74, Kass uses a wheelchair.

Her enormous fortune, estimated at $60 million, is at the center of a legal dispute between her relatives and the personal trainer and psychotherapist whom Kass named as the primary beneficiaries of her estate.

A judge is expected to decide whether Kass needs a legal guardian. If the judge decides Kass cannot take care of herself, two people on opposite sides of the dispute over the estate want responsibility for her welfare: her nephew, Thomas Kass Berger, and her former personal trainer, Elizabeth ''Betty" Villari.

The judge's decision, following a 10-day trial will not determine who inherits Kass's fortune. But her legal guardian, if the judge appoints one, would be responsible for her financial affairs, property, and physical welfare.

Full Article and Source:
Future of Cape artist becomes $60m question - Judge weighs guardianship as 2 sides vie


Anonymous said...

Sealed records? I missed that the first time I read about this case.

Sealed records attempt to cover up wrongdoing.

I'm glad the Globe is staying on this story.

Anonymous said...

Money to plunder and plunder they will.

Why is a Judge not schooled in medicine making family decisions?

Anonymous said...

Once again, who benefits from this battle for Mary Kass' money?

The guardian and the lawyers.

Anonymous said...

She's not even gone yet for crying out loud!

Anonymous said...

Sealed proceedings and Guardianship allow for unscrupulous court appointed 'professionals' to plunder estates stealing
heirs inheritances despite wills and trusts easily ignored in these 'secret' courts. These Judges are rubber stamping their court appointed Guardians motions and fabricated reports as gospel while ruling the heirs and their professionals as not credible and denying them due process. The Appellate courts only review the decisions from these corrupt Judges not all the evidence as 'Judges are automatically given integrity and they have the time to review all the evidence and rule in a fair and just manner. The problem is they often don't when there's MONEY at their 'discretion' with no effective oversight to prevent obstruction from Justice. It's Government's way of spending down assets to feed their coffers so Government is not interested in how their court's get these assets away from heirs of estates
or how much these court 'players' make for themselves in the process.

Anonymous said...

Ha! More and more people are beginning to realize
the 'real' purpose of these
'secret'court proceedings
and Guardianships. You can
bet these two litigants will be court ordered out
of her life so the court
Judge, Guardian,their hired
professionals and the facility she gets displaced to can all PROFIT