Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Glasser Case -- Another View

Earlier on this blog, I reported on the case of Lillian Glasser and the battle to control her and her $25 million fortune.  The posting, based on a newspaper article, painted a grim picture that Lillian was being held hostage and psychologically tortured.

My posting triggered a response from Sharon B. Gardner of the Houston law firm of Crain, Caton & James who is one of the attorneys representing Ms. Mathews, Mrs. Glasser's daughter.  Here is an excerpt from her explanation:

You should be aware that Mrs. Glasser designated her daughter to serve as her agent at a time that Mrs. Glasser had capacity. She was represented by a well respected New Jersey lawyer who is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the power was properly witnessed.  The power of attorney was durable and when the treating physician certified Mrs. Glasser's lack of capacity, it was activated as it was a springing power.

Mrs. Glasser is now severely demented and although her daughter has accounted for all of her funds to the son, the court appointed attorneys and Judge Spencer, Mrs. Glasser's son has filed what he admits is a pre death will contest alleging that his rights have been tortiously interfered with as they pertain to his mother. Despite the fact that Texas does not allow pre death will contests, this dispute has lingered on under the guise that Mrs. Glasser wants to go "home". Mrs. Glasser's memory of "home" was when her husband and parents were alive which is no longer the case. When she got to New Jersey on her last visit, she requested to return to San Antonio. As you are aware, it is unfortunate that people who have dementia have little insight to the fact they lack the judgment or ability to make decisions where to live. She is not oriented to time and sometimes lives in the past. She is functioning on the intellectual equivalent of a young child per one of her treating physicians. 

Mrs. Glasser resides in a lovely high-rise in San Antonio with round the clock care. She goes to her country club, gets massages, physical therapy and has regular visitors. She has a home in New Jersey and Florida and her grandchildren reside in San Antonio.  Unfortunately, she no longer has the judgment or the ability to make decisions about her health and well being.

I think the record needs to be clear that Mrs. Glasser and her husband (who also had a power of attorney) both took the necessary steps to avoid the dispute that now exists. I also think it is  important to point out to the professors who read your blog that more and more, guardianship proceedings are being utilized as pre death will contests. Perhaps a no contest clause should be put in a power of attorney for those jurisdictions who recognize the validity of such clauses or an arbitration clause should be incorporated into a power of attorney so individuals private lives do not become a source of newspaper articles and blogs. Even when agents are carefully selected, disgruntled relatives can still file litigation.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/trusts_estates_prof/2005/12/the_glasser_cas.html

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» Thoughts on the Lillian Glasser Case from Death and Taxes - The Blog
The Lillian Glasser case has been in the news of late (here's a New York Times article), and has been addressed on a number of the other estate planning and probate blogs: You and Yours BlawgThe Florida Probate Litigation BlogWills, [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 4, 2006 7:21:58 AM

» More on Lillian Glasser from Death and Taxes - The Blog
As I indicated here, the Lillian Glasser case has received a fair amount of attention recently. In my post last week, I mentioned Mrs. Glasser's power of attorney, and the actions of her daughter, Suzanne Mathews (the agent), thereunder (including [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 10, 2006 10:51:35 AM

» More on Lillian Glasser from Death and Taxes - The Blog
As I indicated here, the Lillian Glasser case has received a fair amount of attention recently. In my post last week, I mentioned Mrs. Glasser's power of attorney, and the actions of her daughter, Suzanne Mathews (the agent), thereunder (including [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 11, 2006 1:27:20 PM

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