Watching the impending Tim Conway guardianship nightmare
Source: Dr. Sam Sugar, MD, FACP
Garden City Park, NY: In the past few months, there has been a growing sense of peril brought to light in the lives of some well-known celebrities who have amassed sizeable financial estates over their respective careers. Whether it is Marvel Comics icon Stan Lee, NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin, or—most recently—comedy legend Tim Conway, each of these famous individuals now face the reality of potentially abusive guardianship scenarios—due to their decreased capacity and increased vulnerability—within a system almost guaranteed to rob them and their families of both their wealth and well-being.
This is of grave concern to Florida-based medical doctor Sam Sugar, MD, who is author of the new book Guardianships and the Elderly: The Perfect Crime (Square One, $19.95 USD / ISBN: 978-0-7570-0433-9) and co-founder/president of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG), an organization designed to help expose the corruption of this nation’s guardianship systems. In a new column written for McKnight's Senior Living daily e-newsletter ("Guardianships require care to protect residents"), Dr. Sugar has gathered a flurry of evidence amassed from varied sources like grassroots advocacy groups and recently offered testimony to the U.S. Senate. As he reports, the evidence shows how deeply flawed our country's current system of guardianship truly is. Especially worrisome is the world of court-appointed professional—probate—guardianship, which is most often where our elderly lose their rights when families cannot agree or become combative about how best to care for their older loved ones. A compelling TV segment, aired earlier this summer on Brit comedian John Oliver's weekly HBO talk show, has only further deepened the resonance of this problem within the mainstream—but the problem still exists.
Given the fractious nature of his situation—where his daughter has already taken steps to wrest away control of her father's estate from Mr. Conway's wife—it looks like any guardianship request brought before the court system in the case of Mr. Conway will lead to a long and ongoing depletion of family harmony and estate finances. With so many of our nation's best-known and cherished celebrities now or soon to be caught in the crosshairs of abusive guardianship, Dr. Sugar hopes that Americans from all walks of life will take the time to learn about this widespread problem—before it rears its ugly head in their own lives as well.
Guardianships and the Elderly is now available wherever books are sold.