There is just no question, that there are more seniors and disableds living in nursing homes in the US than probably every other country in the world, where most countries consider it a desperate shame to dump elderly parents, your disableds and other “undesireables” into institutions where they never against see the light of day again because there’s just “too much liability.”
Go ahead, volunteer at a nursing home and this is what you will see. 90% or more of the persons there desperately want to return to their own homes. Many have never even been told their homes were sold to pay for them to go to a nursing home. Their relatives rarely visit. They are secluded and isolated. They cannot go outside because “its too much liability” unless they are well enough to get up themselves and walk on an doff buses.
Nursing homes really don’t even like it if people get up and out of their wheelchairs or out of bed. The wheelchairs and beds are equipped with alarms that sound if the patient does this.
So what do the Probate courts do? Set up a system where nursing home placement is pretty much guaranteed. Once you do one little thing wrong as an elderly person, a tied in quack doctor will “visit you” without the knowledge or consent of your relatives who live there with you and who are your fierce and dedicated excellent caretakers. If anyone protests, a judge will sternly admonish you “not to interfere with court appointed personnel” even though no one was ever told about the visit nor were you given notice of any court order.
Next, the person is adjudicated incompetent and the OPG or Office of Public Guardian sells the home, takes their attorneys and agency fees and places the person or couple in nursing homes against their will and consent. While the senior knows and has given advance directives NOT to go to a nursing home, that all does not matter in the world of probate.
I have racked my brain on how to avoid all of this.
I currently have a case where there is hope, but only because the couple’s home is worth about $300,000, and they have already racked up $250,000 in nursing home bills, so even if the home is sold, after deductions for the fact the home is not and will not be ever “sale ready” and sell for top dollar, and after paying off the nursing homes, nothing is left for the vultures of court appointed attorneys. So this may be a win (details have been altered so the case is not identifiable) and the couple can stay in their home, because the probate attys see no money in this case for them. Tear.
Let’s see what happens.
So my take on this is if an elderly couple has a paid up home, a bank account, etc. what you need to do is an irrevocable gift to all your children now of their inheritance which immediately comes into effect if anyone tries to sell your home and put either one of you in a nursing home. Execute it like a will. Send it to all your children and/or prospective heirs AND, most important, record the document against your home. Tell the greedy, vulture like probate attys on the 18th floor to go stuff it and if they think their job of warehousing the elderly is so fine and grand, then do it without pay and certainly not $250 per hour. Tell them to hold a bake sale to do it.
I have no other idea on how to stop this tragedy in our country. Probate courts revoke trusts nearly on a whim. A trust is not guaranteed to protect you in old age. The elderly and disableds are tossed everyday into nursing homes and institutions based upon very weak evidence–certainly not the correct legal stand of clear and convincing. All the GAL’s and lawyers you get will come “from a list”. It’s all tied in and stacked against the senior/disabled. I know of at least THREE Illinois cases which guardians were or were almost appointed without jurisdiction–no service on the elder and/or requisite family members.
This is a horror and tragedy everyone should be aware of. Seniors and disableds have rights and should not have to go to or be in nursing homes if they don’t want to be there. I am up to FOUR, four disableds/seniors currently hiding from the probate courts, having escaped from their homes or a nursing home to live on the streets, wandering like gypsys, living where they can, eating with soup kitchens and were they can–despite substantial assets in bank accounts, all because the Illinois probate courts place everyone in a nursing home and declare them incompetent, severing them from their rights, liberties, property but provide tens of thousands of dollars in probate attys fees and OPG fees per year, while the disabled get nothing or a very small bit of money.
Remember what an OPG atty recently told me, “some people simply insist on living in the community for far too long.” To me, that reads “some people just won’t get on that ice floe quick enough when they’re supposed to.”
Seniors have rights, disableds have rights. The system needs a complete and comprehensive overhaul from the feds PLUS a class action investigation into many of these cases.
There, once again, like Wanda Sykes “I said it.” The ARDC can try to take down this blog, silence me, take away my sordid cases, but I am dedicated to YOU, the victims of probate court and not the powers that be. Again, let them hold a bake sale.