Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

How the Elderly Lose Their Rights

Senior-financial-abuseRudy North once began his days in the relative comfort of his own home, reading newspapers and novels at his leisure. His wife of fifty-seven years, Rennie, recovering from lymphoma and suffering with neuropathy, was a bit slower but just as pleased to greet the day. Both were living happily together with daily assistance from a nurse who provided Rennie aid with bathing and dressing. This delightful routine ended abruptly and without warning upon the unexpected entrance of April Parks into their once-tranquil lives.

Parks was the owner of A Private Professional Guardian, a company specializing in gaming the legal and medical systems, with the help of complacent judges and crooked medical staff, in order to obtain guardianship over elderly individuals in order to siphon away their assets through fees and expenses. Unbeknownst to the Norths, Parks had attained a letter from a physician’s assistant indicating the Norths posed a substantial risk for mismanagement of their own medications. Jon Norheim, the Clark County guardianship commissioner at the time, granted Parks’s request to become guardian for the Norths. This had essentially become routine, as Norheim granted Parks a guardianship about once per week. Neither Rudy nor Rennie were subject to any formal testing or psychological evaluation prior to the complete and total stripping of their civil liberties.

After a long and arduous struggle and substantial intervention by third parties, the Norths are now living with their daughter in a converted office. They have few assets, as Parks gorged her seemingly insatiable appetite on their life savings. Despite a substantial amount of blame that can laid at the feet of the Nevada legal system, it appears as though the victims of this schema have little recourse for remedy.

See Rachel Aviv, How the Elderly Lose Their Rights, The New Yorker, October 9, 2017.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  


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