Real Time Web Analytics

Monday, July 22, 2019

Be meticulously careful when choosing someone to help you

Lately I've been thinking about how frightening it can be to hire people for assistance with important legal and family matters.

I recently read about Rebecca Fierle, a Florida woman who works as a professional guardian for vulnerable people, particularly seniors. About a week ago, a judge removed her from 98 guardianship cases because she was signing Do Not Resuscitate orders for people in her care without court permission and in many cases against the wishes of the vulnerable people themselves. At least one family is saying that their father would be alive if not for Fierle. As it turns out, there had been multiple complaints and multiple investigations of Fierle. Read more here.

Now Fierle has resigned from 40 more cases. In some, judges who had caught on to what was happening scheduled emergency hearings or assigned a court supervisor of Fierle's cases, but Fierle resigned before the meetings could take place. Pretty slippery. Read more here.

What a horrible situation for families who thought they had found a reliable, trustworthy person to assist them in providing the care needed by a loved one.

In my own practice, I recently became involved in a case where a person acting under an Enduring Power of Attorney has been taking steps that are illegal and damaging to the person she is supposedly protecting. She has been acting under the advice of a person she calls an "estate consultant". We know only two things about that consultant. One, he or she is not a lawyer. Two, he or she knows squat about estates.

And yet, that "consultant" holds himself//herself out to the general public as someone with knowledge and experience.

The bottom line is that seniors, their care, and their legal matters provide huge financial opportunities for individuals who are unscrupulous. There will only be more of these people (in Newfoundland, we'd call them "skeets") who prey on the unsuspecting family member who needs some help.

I urge everyone to be careful when choosing advice or assistance for a person who is vulnerable. Whether it's a lawyer, a guardian, or a consultant, get references and call each and every one of them. Check out people and businesses online and with the Better Business Bureau. Talk to others to find out what people are saying about them. Stay involved with your family member and listen when they voice fears or worries. And please, speak up when your gut tells you something is wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails