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Elder Law

Onetime millionaire left destitute after guardianship litigation settles with law firm

Posted Dec 19, 2013 2:57 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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There’s some good news to report about an elderly Arizona woman worth $1.3 million before she was left destitute by attorney, guardianship and companion care fees.

Marie Long, 92, has reached a confidential settlement with a law firm that collected $230,000 in fees from her, according to an Arizona Republic column. It follows another settlement with Long’s onetime guardian, the Sun Valley Group, which had assigned itself as Long’s caregiver and charged more than $400,000 for companion care and guardianship duties, the story says.

Long’s lawyer, Jon Kitchel, told the Arizona Republic that his client “should have enough to live a decent life.”

The column says Long’s case has resulted in better protections for vulnerable people in Maricopa County probate court. Court accountants are looking for padded bills, and judges are looking at the long-term sustainability of estates, the story says.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: Elderly Millionaire Is Destitute After Payment of Fees for Lawyers and Care

ABAJournal.com: "A Different View of the Case of the Destitute Millionaire"

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