According to a recent article in the Silicon Valley Mercury News, court-appointed conservators, fiduciaries, trustees, and other financial managers are charging devastating fees to the elders and individuals they are meant to guard. Examples include a court-appointed man charging $108,771 total for four and a half months of “protecting assets” in San Jose ; a Santa Clara conservator charging $1,062 for organizing a birthday celebration; and a conservator billing $26,946 for twelve days of mail sorting and home clean-up in Sunnyvale. In all too many of these cases, the conserved individual or client is too incapacitated to notice or understand these abusive practices.
As shocking as the exorbitant fees and rates are, perhaps even more appalling is the fact that these financial “advisors” in San Jose and throughout Santa Clara County are being granted these rates and fees by the Santa Clara County court itself. The Mercury News article challenges the system behind these potential abuses, citing the Santa Clara County Court’s history of allowing – among other things – hourly rates for conservators that are twice as high as those condoned by other courts.
Issues of abusive conservatorship and other financial guardianships are central to the growing epidemic of elder financial abuse in California and throughout the country. Once an individual gains legal authority over an elder’s estate and finances, he or she is in a growingly abused position to financially take advantage at the expense of the elderly or incapacitated victim. Abusive conservators and fiduciaries in San Jose and Santa Clara County have charged high and questionable fees to elders – up to $250 an hour – for “managing finances,” “helping with travel arrangements,” and “remodeling.” In extreme cases, these individuals have charged and billed their time for fighting off contestations of their own fees.
Yet, as these abuses become uncovered, judges and advocates for the elderly in Santa Clara County and California have begun to fight back and challenge these ill-intentioned court-appointed professionals. The Evans Law Firm litigates on behalf of elders who have been financially abused. If you or a loved one have suffered from guardianship or Power of Attorney abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm at 415-441-8669 or 800-50-EVANS, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a free and confidential consultation with a California lawyer.