OUR GUARDIANSHIP QUEST
The Vegas Voice exposed, investigated, reported and ultimately
reformed the scandalous guardianship system in Nevada.
Vegas Voice political editor and our “Guardian Gladiator” Rana Goodman completes and files the first Guardianship Nomination form with the Nevada Secretary of State.
Nevada Senator Becky Harris, sponsor of The Vegas Voice Guardianship reform bill served as “1st Witness” along with Sandy Lewis. Todd Bauman from Bauman Advisory Group provided the notary services (Pictured left to right: Sandy Lewis, Rana, Becky Harris and Todd Bauman. Photo Michael Roberts).
“I Told You So!”
The above quote was from our “Guardian Gladiator” Rana Goodman after a series of clandestine meetings. Succinctly stated: “They’re back!
”My Rana has maintained that the Guardianship scandal, while corrected in many aspects, was far from over. I, however, thought this issue was “dead.” I was wrong.
Sadly, no matter how many times we try to kill this evil creature, “somehow” the guardianship court and lawyers (and it’s always the lawyers) find a way to shove innocent seniors into their legal sewer.
As per Rana’s column (page 8) The Vegas Voice spent years working to expose, uncover, and ultimately assist in reforming the guardianship system in Nevada. The “private guardianship industry” has collapsed as dozens of private guardians “suddenly retired” while others found new residences in Nevada prisons.
Unfortunately, there’s a new problem. It’s now, not private guardians, but family members and their lawyers ripping off their relative.
Personally, I cannot comprehend the thought that relatives/siblings would obtain separate attorneys to destroy their family (especially their elderly parent). Hopefully you likewise have the similar belief, however, once the lawyers (and I repeat, it’s always the lawyers) smell that money, well…
Fortunately, there is one positive, one shining light, that appears to be an unconditional protection to this court approved rape of assets: fill out, complete and submit your Guardianship Nomination Form to the Nevada Secretary of State.
All such guardianship nominations forms (at last count 5,000+) placed in the Secretary’s “lockbox” have been honored. No one who filed has become a victim. I’ve heard the counter argument(s) numerous times – and while my response sounds like a broken record, for those who disagree with me, kindly read the following and explain where I am incorrect.
Reasons for Not Having Such Guardianship Nomination Form:
1. I have a valid Power of Attorney OR
2. My Trust documents state my choice of a guardian OR
3. It’s a waste of time and money.
All of the above sounds reasonable, but here’s the “catch”:
1. Once the Guardianship Court gets involved, all powers of attorney are “revoked.” End of discussion.
2. The guardianship court (and the attorneys) do not have immediate access to your Trust and (most importantly) the court is NOT bound to follow the terms.
The Court has the legal right to terminate, change, revise, rip-up (you pick the term) your Trust documents. The reason for such authority is to provide the financial resources to the guardian since it is “for your own good.
”Our latest review has found a “relationship” between certain attorneys and the judges that “somehow” always favor the lawyers (especially their legal fees). While you still might win the case, it’s going to cost you.
For these “cesspool ambulance-chasers” your assets and finances are a never emptying piggybank, even though it’s your money. The court approved “reasonable legal fees” taken from “nest-egg retirement funds” are jaw-dropping astonishing.
Let me be clear – the guardianship court system is obscene and an unconditional disgrace. This so-called legal system is “not broken”… but “fixed.”
And the best (if not only) way to avoid this happening to you (and please don’t think it “can’t happen to you”) is to avoid it – at all costs.
Which brings me to point number 3. For the price of a US postage stamp (and a notary – which most banks will do for their customers at no cost) you can rest easy.
Oh, and the two pages in filling out the form takes about 5 minutes.The court is still required to check with the Secretary of State in every potential guardianship matter. So, despite the court and lawyers’ best efforts, such guardian nomination form is and remains “bullet-proof.”
Could I be wrong? Of course, I can and my PILL (partner in love & life) reminds me of this remarkable skill on a daily basis.
And if I am, and you followed this advice and suggestion, you lost 5 minutes of your time and the cost of a stamp.
But if I’m correct (and I’ll stake the reputation of The Vegas Voice on it) how much time, effort and money will be spent attending court sessions and proceedings, all while racking up “reasonable” attorney fees? And that’s assuming you win the court battle.
What if the “fixed” guardianship court rules against you?
In the meantime, as Rana has done (the photo shows her signing and filing the 1st guardianship form with the Secretary of State) complete the Guardianship Nomination Form above. If you have any questions, call or email her.
Why wouldn’t you do it?
Guardianship & Final Wishes Presentation
Our Rana Goodman addresses the Sun City MacDonald Ranch audience last month. Rana provided updated Guardianship information as well as led the discussion over our Vegas Voice Final Wishes petition drive.
Our Rana Goodman with Richard Berman before the showing of “The Guardians” movie at Carnegie Heights at Henderson last month. Nearly 50 residents attended the movie and Rana’s presentation on the latest guardianship issues.
As Dr. Berman commented later that evening, “Residents are still talking about the film as well as what a remarkable woman you are. Many thanks for sharing your afternoon with us.”
This was our 6th guardianship presentation of the year with two more already scheduled. If your community/group is interested in showing the award-winning documentary and/or protecting oneself from “guardian kidnapping” call Rana to schedule a presentation. Our “Guardian Gladiator” can be reached at 702/251-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At the invitation of Las Vegas City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, The Vegas Voice held a Guardianship Update seminar last month at the Sahara Library. Led by Any Content Editor (ACE) Rana Goodman & publisher Dan Roberts, discussions included the guardianship reforms accomplished, the “how & why” of the Nevada Guardianship Nomination Form and Rana’s new project, “Concerned Neighbors & Friends Program.”
Pictured with Rana prior to the presentation is host Councilwoman Victoria Seaman
Our Rana Goodman addresses the Sun City Summerlin Woman’s Club last month. Over 100 members attended Rana’s presentation on the latest guardianship issue.
This was our 4th guardianship presentation of the year with three more already scheduled. If your community/group is interested in protecting members from a “guardianship taking” call Rana to schedule a presentation. Our “Guardian Gladiator” can be reached at 702/251-4441 or email@example.com.
A Substitute Guardianship Presentation
Vegas Voice Publisher Dan Roberts with members of the Sun City Summerlin Investment Club last month. Dan was “pinch-hitting” for our Rana Goodman due to her last minute medical procedure. Over 35 members attended Dan’s (with a major assist from his Bronx brother, Executive Director Bill Caserta) presentation on guardianship issues.
This was our 5th guardianship presentation of the year with five more already scheduled. If your community/group is interested in protecting members from a “guardianship taking” (and assuming Rana decides to forego medical issues) call Rana to schedule a presentation. Our “Guardian Gladiator” can be reached at 702/251-4441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Guardians” Awarded Grand Prize!
“The Guardians,” a film by Billie Mintz that exposed the court sanctioned financial exploitation of Las Vegas senior citizens by private guardians, including Jared E. Shafer and April Parks awarded the “Grand Prize as the Best Documentary Feature” at the recent Silver State Film Festival.
This showing (which included interviews with Vegas Voice political editor Rana Goodman and publisher Dan Roberts) is a positive indication that the documentary will soon be aired nationally in the United States
Four yeARS TO ACHIEVE JUSTICE
It’s taken 4 years but finally justice. Private guardian April Parks was sentenced to 16 to 40 years in state prison for her exploitation and destruction of seniors on Friday, 1/4.
Not once did she look at her numerous victims who attended and spoke during the emotional court hearing.
The words: “I’m sorry” were never uttered. Her attorney did say that “Everything she did was approved by the Guardianship Court.”
Guardianship System Still Under Scrutiny –
But There Is Progress
For the last few years, the guardianship system in Clark County has been under scrutiny and in turmoil.
But now, one of the most notorious private guardians, April Parks, is behind bars. Parks could spend up to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to dozens of felony charges connected to her business that defrauded dozens of elderly and disabled people in the state.
After the Parks’ story made headlines, the State Supreme Court created a commission to look at the system and recommend changes. Jim Berchtold is an attorney with Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and he was on the commission. He said the commission issued several recommendations from changes to the laws governing guardianships to changes to the court rules for guardianships. Berchtold said most of the changes have been implemented, including a protected person’s bill of rights, which he believes is the most important change.
WE STOPPED HIM!
“The Vegas Voice is very proud to announce that our collective efforts to stop Charles Hoskin from being recommended to the Court of Appeals has been successful. The Nevada Judicial Selection Commission rejected his application yesterday.
In selecting the 3 finalists, the Commission considered (among others) his “professional and personal conduct.” The Commission also considered the public statements and letters/emails of (non)reference.
There is no doubt that our “Stop Hoskin” campaign and our combined 657 letters and emails played a pivotal role and for that, we once again thank everyone who took the time to contact the Commission.
“By the way, everything you need to know about Judge Hoskin can be summed up with the following:
And the Award Goes To…
There is nothing more gratifying than to be honored by your peers. With that humble sentiment, I’m very proud to announce that The Vegas Voice has received a total of 8 national and state awards.
We received 5 awards from the North American Mature Publishers Association including:
General Excellence (“The Vegas Voice switched from a newspaper to a magazine, but it didn’t leave behind its investigative teeth…its investigative piece on guardianship fraud resulted in indictments of one of the most scandalous abusers. The Voice should be proud of this work.”)
Feature Writing – to Rana Goodman and Dan Roberts: (“The Vegas Voice is on a mission and judging by the tone and contents of these articles, it means to succeed.” For our guardianship articles – “It’s a terrific journalistic effort. Readers are well-served by this section.”)
Topical Issues (“Dan Roberts doesn’t hold back…There’s no missing his meaning.”)
Front Cover/Illustration – to Ray Sarbacker: (“The cover illustration captures the mystique of several elements.”) and Overall Design.
Wait there’s more. The Nevada Press Association (you know the big guys – Las Vegas Review Journal, LV Sun, etc.) followed with 3 awards; including Best Print Ad by Ray and;
Best Investigative Story by Rana and Dan (Great reporting and coverage on a subject. Thanks for your determined efforts to bring to light abuse of those most vulnerable in our society.”);
And to top it all off, The Vegas Voice was chosen for the “Freedom of the Press” award for upholding the principles of the First Amendment and protecting the public’s right in exposing the scandal. (“The fervor to expose a major problem with guardianship led this senior’s publication to take extraordinary steps – including overcoming attempts to silence it…to see that reforms were addressed.”)
To say that we’re honored and proud would be an understatement. And wait to you read what we have planned for 2018!
The Vegas Voice received a Proclamation from the Las Vegas Mayor and City Council on June 6th for its efforts in protecting seniors. The award recognized “The Vegas Voice for being an exemplary example of bringing awareness of elderly abuse to the community.”
Happily, and proudly standing with the award are (left-to-right) Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Vegas Voice president Ray Sarbacker, political editor Rana Goodman, publisher Dan Roberts, Councilwoman Michelle Fiore, Councilman Bob Coffin and Vegas Voice project Manager Bill Caserta. Photo Credit: Michael Roberts.