More revelations continue to pour forth from the Geraldine Webber elder abuse investigation/probate case in Portsmouth, NH. Webber, who died in December of 2012 at age 94, left behind a $2.7 million estate to Portsmouth Police Sgt. Aaron Goodwin, who "befriended" the elderly woman two years prior during a routine patrol of her neighborhood. The trouble is, Webber had already been diagnosed with dementia by their time of her acquaintance with Goodwin. Yet Goodwin proceeded to visit her intensively, even taking her on casino outings, as well "shopping around" through several lawyers to change her will and trust with himself as the new beneficiary in May 2012. Seven months later Webber passed away, and Goodwin inherited her fortune.
As a 42-year veteran officer of New Hampshire's Portsmouth police department, John Connors is serious about his duty to protect the community, and that includes from elder abuse. When his wealthy elderly neighbor Geraldine Webber, already in her nineties, began receiving frequent visits from fellow officer Aaron Goodwin in 2010, Connors sensed something was amiss. His cause for concern was genuine; two weeks after she met Goodwin, Webber told Connors that the younger police officer had fallen in love, would soon leave his wife and children to move in with her, and that she would 'give him everything.'
One of the major reasons why elder abuse is difficult to track is under-reporting: victims of abuse are reluctant to come forward out of fear, shame, or embarrassment. And in ethnic and immigrant communities, this factor is only magnified due to the insular culture of many such groups.
Elder abuse in nursing homes has been a phenomenon that's difficult to track, though its frequency is worrying enough to publicize steps for prevention. Indeed, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 95% of care facility residents have felt neglected or seen a fellow resident neglected, while 44% reported some type of abuse.
What happens when a party in an estate dispute attempts to transfer assets from a trust they once established for family members? That's the current dilemma of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, whose $1.9 billion business empire is up for grabs after he froze his daughter, Renee Benson, as well as his grandchildren out of ownership of major enterprises after his death.