Karyn Turk: Guardianship system cannot be reformed – it must be rebuilt from scratch


The guardianship system is irrevocably broken. It is being used as a legalized form of human trafficking and the only solution is to tear down the whole system and rebuild it from scratch.

That’s what I said Florida Guardianship Enhancement Task Force and it is a message that anyone who cares about basic human rights must hear.

When I first agreed to place my mother in a nursing home after falling in her apartment, I had no idea what I was getting into. I trusted the system and trusted my mother’s caregivers.

They assured me that my mother would be approved for Medicaid and began aggressive medical and psychiatric treatment even though my mother was in relatively good health. I had doubts, but I trusted the experts.

The nursing home later informed me that Medicaid had not approved my mother’s request and charged me $ 30,000. Since I had not approved the treatments and felt misled by the nursing home’s promises, I disputed the charges. My husband is a lawyer and we both expected the case to go to civil court. Instead, the nursing home requested guardianship.

Once again, I trusted the system. I convinced myself that the tutor would be a professional lawyer with my mother’s best interests at heart. I accepted the guardianship.

About a month later, my daughter came to the facility and found her grandmother face down on a table, drooling, with bruises all over her face. The tutor said she was in Miami and there was nothing she could do to help him. After jumping through the procedural hoops to get my mom admitted to the hospice, we found out that she had nine stage four bed sores on her body.

When my mother passed away, the guardianship automatically ended, which allowed me to do an autopsy and bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the nursing home.

Unfortunately, corruption pervades the Florida legal system. After I filed my complaint, prosecutors rummaged through mountains of paperwork for an excuse to prosecute me, forcing me to choose between court battles I couldn’t afford or accept a misdemeanor charge for. using my mother’s Social Security money to provide extra care and enduring a stay in a maximum security prison in retaliation for defying the corrupt system. During this time, the nursing home voluntarily rejected her initial financial request because my mother’s Medicaid was finally approved.

I know for a fact that I am not the only one to have experienced this. I have heard similar stories from other families, and as a presenter on America’s true voice, I have also reported similar stories.
It doesn’t matter whether a person has modest means or enormous wealth. Teacher Marion Leonard suffered the same kind of abuse and neglect as my mother, dying alone and cut off from friends and family.

Award-winning philanthropist and Golden Flakes heiress Joann Bashinsky was unwillingly placed in trusteeship in 2019, preventing her from making financial decisions, even in the charity she founded. The big oak ranch cares for abused and disadvantaged children to give them hope and a new chance at life. Despite a determined effort to prove her competence over the next 18 months, “Miss B” died in January and the Alabama Estates Court has still not released her from her trusteeship nine months after her death.

I know this is a national issue, so I’m trying to convey to lawmakers that this is a bipartisan issue that everyone can relate to. If you are an only child, they can get guardianship by suing you, just like they did for me. If you have siblings, they will try to pit you against each other for a wardship order.

The corrupt guardianship system deliberately seeks to break up the families of its victims, financially and emotionally, so that it can portray them as “crazy” or unbalanced. But they failed to break me down, and I will do all I can to protect others from the injustices my family and I have suffered.

Existing efforts to “reform” this failing system rely on bar associations to control their own corrupt members, but it is like summoning the fox to guard the chicken coop.

The truth is, the system is too broken to fix. It must be demolished and rebuilt.

Karyn Turk is the former Ms. Florida 2016. She is also CEO of American Creative Group, LLC.

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