Imagine a system of justice in this country that strips its citizens of their Constitutional rights, voids their existing legal documents, gives others the right to spend their money and sell their assets, isolates them, and has the ability to limit the time they can spend with their loved ones. While you may be thinking of the criminal justice system, the previous description refers to a parallel system that preys on the elderly and is determined to deem them unable to care for themselves. It is a system that allows those in control to take full advantage of their “wards of the state”―legally and under the watchful eyes of judges. It is called guardianship.
Setting the stage for Michael Larsen’s collection of personal accounts of escalating crimes against the elderly in probate courts, one typical story from the reference manual, GUARDIANSHIP, describes the techniques probate judges, attorneys and predatory guardians use to plunder the wealth of the elderly, destroying their remaining years:
In THE WOLF AT THE DOOR, veteran California attorney and elder financial abuse writer Michael Hackard draws from forty years of legal experience to advise families, caregivers, and professionals who work with seniors what elder financial abuse is, how to identify it, and—most importantly—what to do if abuse is suspected. As the baby boomer generation rapidly ages into retirement, elder financial abuse threatens to become a national epidemic. If not addressed early and aggressively, this unique form of exploitation can tear families apart, leaving shattered relationships and depleted bank accounts in its wake.