- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Square One (May 1, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0757004334
- ISBN-13: 978-0757004339
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Guardianships and the Elderly: The Perfect Crime Paperback – May 1, 2018
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“A powerful voice in senior advocacy sounds the alarm on the guardianship industry’s gross abuses . . . explores the evolution of the guardianship process and its statutes, triggering scenarios, and mechanisms, offering clear, readable explanations of the legalities, appointed officials, and court probate structures involved . . . [Sugar’s] intent is the prevent others from suffering the financial and emotional struggle of a broken system and to empower readers to arm themselves with enough accessible knowledge and foresight to avoid the dizzyingly complicated guardianship arrangement altogether . . . smartly offers practical tips and alternatives to avoid abusive situations and to honor final intentions in the most respectful ways possible . . . A potent, important call to action for those preparing to assume or actively involved in the estate caretaking of an incapacitated loved one.”(Kirkus Reviews)
"Enlightens readers about the financial and psychological toll taken on vulnerable elderly people by corrupt court-appointed guardians . . . [author] Sugar, who estimates that as many as 14% of all guardianships involve some criminality, convincingly demonstrates that the system as a whole is broken . . . going beyond merely sounding the alarm, he recommends concrete ways for individuals to protect themselves and their loved ones . . . with the aging of the American population and the concomitant increase in expected guardianships, this is a timely and valuable cri de coeur [passionate appeal]." (Publishers Weekly)
"Guardians should be champions and protectors who look out for incapacitated people, but they too often take advantage financially of those in their care, argues Sugar, a medical doctor who founded Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG) . . . Readers who worry about the trustworthiness of court-appointed guardians who are supposed to protect the health, assets, and welfare of a ward will find their fears confirmed . . . this is certainly an informative look at an important yet little-understood subject."(Karen Springen Booklist)
"One of the most significant and important volumes that addresses a problem about which too few are aware – the crimes of the care of the elderly, placed by courts in the realm of guardianship. Dr. Sugar not only exposes the truths of this tragic situation we have created but also takes us through the process of guardianship assignment and the corruption that seethes at the expense of the elderly and their resources . . . the only way to alter an existing condition and correct it is to understand the intricacies of that malfunctioning, criminal system. This is what Dr. Sugar offers in this disturbing but very important book."(Grady Harp, AMAZON TOP 100 Reviewer)
"Dr. Sugar has provided an invaluable service to the public by writing Guardianships and the Elderly. As an elder law attorney, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is over the age of sixty, who has friends or relatives over the age of sixty, or who cares about seniors and the disabled. This book is well-written, easy to understand, and is an extremely informative work that will be an invaluable source of information for those who want to learn about the inner workings of guardianships and conservatorships." ―Cheryl Mitchell, Esq. (Cheryl Mitchell Law Office (Spokane, Washington) Cheryl Mitchell, Esq.)
"Years ago when I began fighting for changes to the deplorable situation in the guardianship system for the elderly within Nevada, it began as a one-month editorial and grew into what is so far a four- year Odyssey. The battle raged on across our state from Clark County to the legislature in Northern Nevada, and our "rag-tag team" won many battles. Suddenly, we were not fighting alone as our goal came to spread the word across the United States . . . we heard about a man by the name of Dr. Sam Sugar, who has picked up the banner and marched on and leads the challenge for our most vulnerable. Hopefully, after reading his new book more people will know how not to fall victim to “Isolate . . . Medicate . . . Steal the Estate” . . . Vegas Voice-Elder Hub is proud to be part of Dr. Sam's efforts. Congratulations on your new book, Doc."(Rana Goodman, President Vegas Voice Elder Hub - Nevada non-profit 501-(C)(3))
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I am impressed with Dr. Sugar’s cogent analysis of the guardianship system in this country. I plan to implement some of the suggestions in his book. In particular, I plan on making a video of me reading an advance directive forbidding that I ever be made the property of a professional guardian. I’m going to include instructions that the video be supplied to media outlets if my wishes are disregarded. I’m also going to write, notarize, and film a statement that my video is released from all copyright restrictions. I don’t want to have a guardian negate my wishes by suppressing my video by copyrighting my image. Perhaps it’s a quixotic Thermopylae-Alamo-Warsaw Ghetto strategy. I may die broke, isolated, and abused in a substandard nursing home. But at least I will have made one last stand against oppression.
The best word to describe the contemporary guardianship system is predatory – the guardianship industry preys upon the elderly in order to physically isolate them and seize control of their assets. Not only that, court-appointed guardians can flout inheritance rights and ignore the terms of wills and trusts. We’re looking at nothing less than kidnapping under color of law, with terrible consequences for elders, whose accounts and estates are looted with impunity.
Dr. Sugar guides readers through every stage of the guardianship process and holds abusive guardians and their enablers to account. His analysis encompasses everything from the basics of guardianship and how equity courts work to key figures within the industry, including everyone from estate liquidators, caregivers, attorneys, judges, and guardians themselves. He also covers claims of incapacity, the leverage predators use to seize control of vulnerable elders’ lives, and the catastrophic results: misappropriation of funds, several varieties of fraud (Medicare, real estate, and investment), overbilling, and elder abuse. Just as importantly, Dr. Sugar shows how to fight back against predatory guardians and protect your rights and those of your family.
I’m a trust litigation attorney with 40 years of experience, and my focus is on preventing elder financial abuse and safeguarding beneficiaries. I’ve seen abusive guardianships, and I’ve seen their tragic aftermath. Guardianships and the Elderly: The Perfect Crime is a call to justice and accountability, as well an expose of massive system failure. Dr. Sugar writes not just as an expert, but an advocate. He calls us to believe in better and undertake much-needed reforms of the guardianship industry without delay. His message to predatory guardians and their enablers: no more excuses.
The writing is clear; the book is a fairly easy read. When dealing with terrible human rights violations such as abusive guardianships -- which dispense with even minimal due process and respect for human dignity -- it's hard to keep one's anger under control. Dr. Sugar has done a good job of conveying the outrage of the situations in which so many elderly citizens and their families find themselves, while maintaining credibility in the facts he presents. Particularly valuable are the examples of how people may end up in guardianships, the steps you can take that *might* keep it from happening to you or your loved ones, and ways we can report abuses that have already happened.
Dr. Sugar's book, sadly, will not put an end to abuse of guardianship ... but it's a good start.
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