Rick Black’s Recommendations | Guardianship Accountability Act of 2019
- October 18, 2019 - Elder Financial Abuse,
Rick Black, Executive Director – CEAR, is one of America’s leading activists and commentators spotlighting the abusive practices in the conservatorship, guardianship and trust industries. Rick’s leadership at CEAR (Center for Estate Administration Reform) provides strong national advocacy for legal reformation of fiduciary abuse at the state and federal levels.
Rick’s efforts include strong support for the legislative reform set out in the proposed Guardianship Accountability Act in bills pending in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. Among the bills’ initiatives are a requirement that the federal Elder Justice Coordinating Council create a National Online Resource Center on Guardianship for the publication of resources and data relating to court-determined adult guardianships.
In California, a legal guardianship for an adult is called a conservatorship. The basic rules are the same as to what other states call adult guardianships. Whether called a plenary, full, general or limited conservatorship or guardianship, Rick points out that they “fundamentally remove all rights from an individual and transfer all powers over an individual, by court order, of their estate and person to a third party.”
Rick has some suggestions for changes to the pending bills that will help provide greater transparency to the entire process. CEAR urges that the federal classification system should identify and/or classify conservatorships/guardianship as voluntary versus involuntary. The conservators/guardians should be identified as professionals (for fees) versus nonprofessionals.
Groups like CEAR are in a collective effort to reform the system that has allowed some fraudulent guardians or conservators to target trustees or beneficiaries of trusts for conservators/guardians to intercept the trust assets and liquidate them for the benefit of people other than the ward or conservatee.
Family members are often shocked when they see family assets rapidly dwindling under huge guardianship/conservatorship expenses. Challenges to these guardians/conservators are expensive and procedurally challenging.
Hats off to Rick Black and the U.S. Senators and Congress members who are working to correct abuses rampant in our conservatorship/guardianship system.
I must note that it is rare that we at Hackard Law take conservatorship or guardianship cases. This is a relatively narrow area of law that others focus on. At Hackard Law we focus on representing clients in trust, estate, probate and elder financial abuse cases.
We regularly represent international, national and California clients in California’s largest urban probate and civil courts, including Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Sacramento Counties.
Our efforts are directed to taking substantial cases where we think that we can make a significant difference and there is a wrongdoer who can be made financially accountable for their wrongdoing or breach of duty.
If you would like to speak with us about your case, call us at Hackard Law: 916 313-3030.