Guardianship given to company who moves wife too far to visit and sell’s house out from under husband of 40 years.
Mike was just trying to do the best for his wife of 40 years. She had dementia and he wanted to put a reverse mortgage on his home to hire more care-givers. The problem was that they had never put the house in his name. He went to one of Seattle’s most honored elder law attorneys for advice.
Michael Longyear suggested that Mike could put his wife under guardianship and then he would have control of her property, but forgot to tell Mike that after even 7 years even unmarried partners have property rights. The property was his too and a court order could have quickly satisfied the bank. Longyear and assistant Williams charged $25,000 for “helping” Mike.
So Mike applied for guardianship of his wife with a glowing report about how capable he was turned in to the court. Then everything turned around and Commissioner Nancy Bradburn-Johnson gave guardianship to Puget Sound Guardians after APS agent turned on Mike. This is a typical exploitation technique of guardians. The APS agent writes a report to the court and all hangs on that. Are these agents getting bribes or “bonuses” for writing these misleading reports or are they really that gullible?
The APS agent said Mike was “exploiting his wife.” After 40 years and he wanted to reverse mortgage his house to get her better care? That is hardly exploitation, but a crooked judge doesn’t need much of an excuse to do the wrong thing.
Puget Sound Guardians could have left wife at home and just hired care-givers as Mike was going to do, but they removed wife from home and put her in an assisted living in a different county, miles from Mike when there was one just down the street. Mike doesn’t drive.
Then they petitioned to sell the house out from under Mike. Remember this is all at the wife’ expense. So Mike looses his house and wife of 40 years. Any way to fight this–NO. If Mike chooses to sue the guardians, they will use his wife’s money to buy lawyers who will let the litigation go till they drain both Mike and his wife. It’s a standard technique. One drained they will give Mike’s wife back.
Puget Sound Guardians has many wards-perhaps hundred. They bill the same for most if not all. There are 6 to 8 pages that is turned into the court annually that are the same. The length depending on the number of signatures. Then the billing is in spreadsheet format that is easily reproduced by pressing the print button. They are always proved $3000 per year in guardianship fees and always bill for nearly twice that. Then here’s the real profit. They hire a lawyer per quarter charging $2000-$3000 per month which doubles the doubled bill- a $3000 a year case goes to $12,000 a year.
Who is the lawyer? Richard Furman, the secretary of Puget Sound Guardians, a non-profit. First they don’t need a lawyer for their standard forms and they are violating the Standard of Practice which states -no self dealing.
Posing as a non-profit makes the company looks like it would be a safe place for your ward, but this is NOT a 501(c)3 Federal Non-profit. This is a state non-profit which means nothing in a state with no income taxes. It means they are supposed to have a board of directors (which they do) and it means that have no shareholder (which they don’t.) A non-profit can make a profit- there is nothing wrong with that. There are several guardianship companies in the state that are listed as non-profit. They “hire” themselves as guardians who are the board of directors and pay them a salary which is controlled by themselves. It’s legal, but unethical.