Our probate system needs major reform to protect our elders. Professional conservators at $140 per hour, their attorneys, and associated profit-making network have been robbing the elders of their money and dignity for too long, as well as depriving them of being able to leave much of an inheritance to their loved ones.
That’s why we’re setting up a strong NASGA (National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse) network locally to oversee and grade conservators, judges, and caregiving agencies.
Now that Judge McLafferty is gone, Santa Barbara County needs to be very careful in selecting the next probate judge. Even with a good, honest judge—one who is not out to line conservators’ pockets—how could one judge competently oversee the hundreds of probate cases and have an inkling of understanding about the lives he’s affecting? We need a big NASGA presence, AARP involvement, and a lot of volunteers protecting the elderly to make sure this court system doesn’t remain abusive, unconscious, and unaware.
McLafferty’s probate court was like a dysfunctional family, and he was the head of it. We really need a nonprofit system to oversee the elderly, one that is sensitive and caring, and that will not deprive elders of their rights, properties, and estates.—Bryan Rosen, Santa Barbara