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Woman takes mother to Florida amid probate battle

One woman violated the orders of a probate court by unlawfully taking her mother to Florida with her and now she is about face the consequences. A Connecticut judge sentenced the woman to what is called accelerated rehabilitation. This punishment does not involve any jail time, but the woman must be careful to stay out of any sort of trouble for the next 18 months.

The offense and punishment should be a clear sign to Florida residents that they must follow the orders of probate court just as they would follow the guidelines of a judge in criminal court. The woman was locked in a dispute over the care of her 81-year-old mother. The dispute was being dragged out in probate court. The elderly woman, who now suffers from Alzheimer's and dementia, was assigned a third-party conservator to manage her estate planning affairs and was set to live at her son's home in Connecticut.

The woman who was found guilty of wrong doing claimed that her mother said long ago that she did not want to live with her son; rather, she wanted to live with her in Florida. Both sides put in applications to be the woman's caregiver. Court documents revealed that the woman was motivated by money to take custody of her mother.

Right now, the elderly woman's son receives $1,000 a week to take care of her. The guilty woman accused her family and their lawyers of squandering funds from her elderly mother's estate, which is worth several million dollars.

Lawyers for the woman's other children said they wanted to see a stiffer penalty levied against the woman, who committed a serious crime and is liable to do it again.

This marks the importance of spelling out these details in an estate plan. When instructions are vague, it leads to messy disputes such as this one.

Source: Stratford Star, "Woman who took her mother granted special probation," Jill K. Dion, March 2, 2012

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