Film buffs in Minneapolis and St. Paul may be most familiar with Reese Witherspoon for her many starring roles in movies. But the actress recently took on a legal role in real life as she petitioned to be appointed her father's conservator. The actress joined with her mother to seek conservatorship over her father, who is believed to suffer from dementia.
Readers in the Twin Cities may take interest in a recent case involving the financial exploitation of vulnerable adults by an unscrupulous deli owner. The deli owner succeeded in defrauding three seniors out of more than $200,000 of a substantial inheritance and may have continued to get away with robbing the unwitting heirs if not for a court-ordered conservatorship.
Many readers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area may remember Zsa Zsa Gabor from film and television roles in an acting career that spanned more than four decades. Aside from her TV and big-screen appearances, Gabor also received a load of attention a number of years ago after infamously slapping a police officer. Unfortunately for the 95-year-old screen icon, the headlines today focus on her daughter's petition for the appointment of a conservator over the ailing star's finances.
For families and friends of the elderly in Minnesota, it is important to stay vigilant and aware of what is going on in their lives. Even if people appear to have the best intentions, each week a new story details another case of financial exploitation or undue influence of vulnerable adults. As one recent story highlights, those who are granted guardianship of an elderly relative can sometimes take advantage of the situation for their own benefit, harming others in the process.
Minnesotans are known for being very polite and generous people, and not too quick to offend. These admirable traits are just a few things that make living in Minnesota special. However, that these good qualities are the norm may sometimes result in Twin Cities residents' not being particularly comfortable in discussing a loved one's end-of-life wishes. Indeed, many families throughout the country put off important decisions regarding wills, trusts, guardianships, conservatorships and other estate planning matters, and too often the end result is problems with probate.
A senator from Minnesota has proposed legislation that is meant to protect seniors, the disabled and other vulnerable people from neglect and abuse by their guardians. To address these issues, United States Senator Amy Klobuchar held a discussion recently in an assisted-living facility in Duluth. She thinks new legislation is necessary based on recent governmental reports, her experiences as a Hennepin County attorney, and the troubles of a Saint Paul woman whose mother was taken advantage of by her guardians.