Friday, September 25, 1987

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

Location: New Braunfels, Texas

Page: 5

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Text Content of Page 5 of New Braunfels Herald Zeitung on Friday, September 25, 1987

New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 25, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas New Texas G ew exas September uardianships full of human drama JENNIFER DIXON AtMciatttf Writers Blderly guardianship cases often pterce deeply to basic human emo tions and lay bare longsimmering family turning brother against testing childrens love of or exposing impulses of Lawyers and judges say some families avoid filing for guardian ships because they simply dont care or find It Others become guardians and sacrifice greatly to protect their aged And still others stay out of court through a sense of shame at having a family member ruled in There are a lot of situations where guardians are but the families are embarrassed to go into said Thomas Featherston a Baylor University law pro Relatives usually put more into a guardianship than they get said Galveston Judge Jerome Theyll usually try to keep care of their relatives often at great ex Blood Is thicker than Some of the more than 75 guardian ship files studied by The Associated Press Involved siblings squabbling about who was best qualified to care for the proposed and the fami ly said Galveston attorney Gladys can be Sometimes they come from feel Ings that originated in their Buiwell From interviews and file examina here are some of the cases un covered by the AP A TBycarold McKlnney woman was placed under a guardianship in Collin County based on a doctors statement littered with misspellings and typos The which did not ad dress the womans mental said she among other Ischemic heart destase and is bearly able to per form independent activities of daily living She must walk with the aid of a walker Her poor vision greatly in terfers with her ability to unction in dependently Although tlie womans estate at the time the guardianship was establish ed in iaa was valued at than the lie ends after one ac counting It was not clear if the ward was still alive or what happened to her estate An elderly man who owned several houses suflerod a stroke in San An tonio and slipped into a Within a matter of our people a a grandson and two friends filed to become guardians o the estate Claims and counterclaims flowed into the file rom all charging that other applicants were only afier the money While the court attempted to son out the months passed and the properties were unsupervised the court named the grandson as guardian The ward died only a few days later and the guar dianship was dissolved one of the unsuccessful guardian ap Die received the whole estate through inheritance An elderly woman in Galveston no longer was able to care or herself and moved into the home o her un married daughter But the elderly womans son visited and was disgusted with his sisters lack of housekeeping The son iled suit to become his mothers guardian and announced his intention to move her out of the home In a hearing that became a family showdown in open the brother and sister confronted each other over the care of the mother An attorney who represented the sister said it became obvious the con flict sprang from anger and resent ments that started decades ago when the siblings were children The forced to take asked to be left in her daughters saying she was happy there even though the house was often not clean or well managed A probate judge listened to all the ruled in favor of the son and named him the The forced to leave the home where she wanted to wept as she left the The halfbrother of a Brownsville man with who forgot to take his insulin and has a drinking pro was granted guardianship of the man and his A month the ward receivea a letter front his brother warning him against fleeing to Mexico or trying to slip any of his potBriitoni across the border The letter said the Mexican consulate ttw ward a visa at the request of a Texas probate court The guardian spent about the eightmouth guarlian The ward and the guar the mans sole in herited the A man moved to South Texas from Iowa early In the leaving all his relatives Over the next 50 he amassed a large but still was without family in When his health two nephews and a niece who he had not seen in 30 years came to They persuaded the man to go with them to Once in the nephews filed papers in court and were declared co guardians of the mans Short ly funds from the estate were being siphoned off to A lawyer who had been the mans friend for decades teamed of the situation and filed suit in a Texas court to block the guardians Since all of the mans property was outside of that court named an accountant to be guardian of the The Missouri nephews continued to attempt to extract funds from the Texas but the under court monitored the filings and released only funds needed for the mans When the elderly man the guardian gave a final accounting and the court closed the 6inchthick The so well defended by the Texas passed into Hearing explores problems in guardianship system WASHINGTON AP The oldest member of Congress says he intends to press for federal standards to pro tect senior citizens from unwar ranted or abusive Claude chairman of the House Select Committee on Ag ing subcommittee on schedul ed a hearing today to examine pro blems in the guardianship Under that which varies from state to state and sometimes from county to guardians are appointed to take control of the pro perty and personal affairs of elderly people who are judged infirm or in said in announcing the hearing that a series of Associated Press stories this week confirms subcommittee findings that only about 50 percent of wards are present at their competency hearings and about the same percentage are not represented by attorneys at their Given the lack of safeguards and absence of uniform national regula guardianship of the elderly in the United States has become an abusive legal Pepper We intend to press for federal stan dards which the stales might adopt to protect the One witness today was a subcom mittee investigator who sought guar dianship of his fictitious aunt in a state court without posting without an attorney and without the presence of the The process took one Pep per John chairman of the American Bar Associations Com mission on Legal Problems of the said in testimony prepared for the hearing that guardianship represents a drastic loss of fun damental civil rights of the The system is plagued by uneven lack of judicial inadequate funds and a failure of the public to understand what is occurring and how to prevent it through use of legal tools to preserve Pickering And the problem will only be accen tuated as America John Hartman of Detroit described in his prepared testimony how he was able to embezzle nearly from his wards during eight years as public guardian in Bay He is currently serving a fiveyear DO YOU HAVE FALL HAY FEVER SYMPTOMS 555 IH 35 New Braunfels EXiOJTiyEBANC 620SAVE VSVK willbe OPEN on September 1987 for FULL SERVICE lUnrs till 12 FSUCi If we need volunteers to partici pate in an approved clinical study 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