From NASGA: Time to reform probate court

MaryGSykes.com

Opinion: It’s time to reform probate court

Posted: 30 Apr 2018 12:18 AM PDT

By Ben Bartlett

Predatory for-profit conservators often take advantage of the elderly by charging huge fees and isolating them from the community.

In 2013, a former Berkeley resident, Greg Cooke, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A physician deemed Mr. Cooke’s wife unable to care for him, and he was referred to a nursing home. A private conservator became aware of Mr. Cooke’s situation and began to petition for conservatorship. Mr. Cooke’s wife fought to retain her role as his caregiver, but ultimately, the Alameda County Probate Court assigned Mr. Cooke to the private conservator.  The conservator began billing Mr. Cooke $8,000 a month in the form of excessive fees and charges. The conservator refused to communicate with Mr. Cooke’s family regarding his condition. They refused his family visitation rights and recently sent a letter to Mr. Cooke’s…

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