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Public Guardian Suspended Due to Questionable Billing Practices

By June 29, 2013Estate Planning

We continually urge people to create health care documents that dictate who would be responsible for their financial, medical, legal and health matters if they should become incapacitated.  By creating these documents, you ensure that your loved one or a trusted advisor can provide you the assistance you need.  If you do not create these documents and you become incapacitated and unable to handle your affairs, the court will appointment a guardian/conservator on your behalf.  Sometimes the court may appoint willing relatives and at other times the judge will choose a public guardian/conservator that provides those services at a cost.

In Tennessee, a public guardian was recently suspended due to “significant concerns” that she was charging excessive fees to the disabled and/or elderly people that she was supposed to protect and assist.  In fact, according to her billing records, Jeane Mills Stuart was charging fees of up to $225 per hour to perform simplistic tasks such as shopping for the client.  Such a fee is generally reserved for legal assistance and not for general errands and routine aid.

Thankfully, this individual’s actions were caught by the court and she is being disciplined.  However, had the court not discovered this, she could have continued charging exorbitant fees without recourse until the estates were drained.  This kind of dishonest practice is especially vile considering the individuals that Stuart is taking advantage of our incapacitated and forced to rely on her assistance.

If you are over 18 years of age, take the time to make sure that you create your health care documents to ensure that you have your affairs in order and a guardian selected.  Do not leave this responsibility in the hands of strangers.  We never know if we could face health problems and at what age we could face incapacity, do not take unnecessary risks by failing to get these vital documents in place.

For more information or to schedule your free consultation, contact our office today at 888.222.1328.

What the Attorneys of Morris Hall Can Do For You:
The attorneys at Morris Hall have 100’s of years of combined experience ensuring that families’ assets are protected from probate, unnecessary taxes, creditors, ex-spouses and Medicaid spend-down.  The attorneys also help those in Arizona and New Mexico to apply for and receive Medicaid assistance and Veterans Benefits.  Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead.  Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.  Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!

This blog should be used for informational purposes only.  It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice.  If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.

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