Thursday, March 24, 2011



Many of the guardianship cases we hear about in Cook County exhibit actions by judges, lawyers, and nurses which we believe constitute elder abuse. Here are just a few examples of actions which we believe constitute elder abuse through the Cook County Probate Courts: Predatory guardianships in which Powers of Attorney have been revoked, cases where wards have been stalked and/or deceived by owners of guardianship companies in an effort to gain the ward as a client, false reports of alleged actions of family members which resulted in restricted visitation, exhorbitant legal fees and guardianship fees, unnecessary placements into public aid facilities, abuse of OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts, lack of filing annual accountings of the estate, falsification of wills, orders from judges to halt investigations into alleged missing estate funds, etc.

We urge our readers to report these activities to the proper authorities.

Anyone can report a case of elder abuse in good faith.

The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act provides that people – who in good faith report suspected abuse or cooperate with an investigation – are immune from criminal or civil liability or professional disciplinary action. It further provides that the identity of the reporter shall not be disclosed except with the written permission of the reporter or by order of a court.

Anonymous reports are accepted. Unfortunately, do to the nature of actions of judges and lawyers in Cook County Probate Courts, anonymous reports may be in the best interest of the wards and families involved.

The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act may be found at the website below:

To report suspected abuse, exploitation or neglect of an older person, call the statewide, 24-hour Elder Abuse Hotline: 1-866-800-1409, 1-888-206-1327 (TTY).

The reporter should be prepared to answer the following questions to the best of their ability...
The alleged victim's name, address, telephone number, sex, age and general condition;
The alleged abuser's name, sex, age, relationship to victim and condition;
The circumstances which lead the reporter to believe that the older person is being abused, neglected or financially exploited, with as much specificity as possible;
Whether the alleged victim is in immediate danger, the best time to contact the person, if he or she knows of the report, and if there is any danger to the worker going out to investigate;
Whether the reporter believes the client could make a report themselves;
The name, telephone number and profession of the reporter;
The names of others with information about the situation;
If the reporter is willing to be contacted again; and,
Any other relevant information.

We at Probate Sharks recommend that you also include the case number and name of your loved one's probate case. The case number for Crook County Probate Court cases may be located at the website below:


All reports and records of the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program are subject to strict confidentiality provisions, except as provided by law or court order.

More information may be found at the website below:


Your ProbateSharks Team Against Elder Abuse

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