To the Editor:
I am writing to express both disappointment and frustration. Having read your recent article/interview entitled, "A Probate Judge's View" (JGN March 1987) and needing to find a way to a conservator for an elderly client unable to manage his own affairs, I tried our Probate Court. You are unable to speak with the judge; you speak with a clerk, and in our area, Probate Court is of no help at all in such cases.
The Clerk then refers you to the public fiduciary and the public fiduciary cannot take conservator steps unless he also has guardianship which, in our area, entails the person being declared mentally incompetent. My client/patient is elderly and frail but is mentally competent. I cannot see in his best interest how this would serve any advocacy on his behalf - as when he is declared mentally incompetent, he is removed from his home and placed in a nursing home - it's part of "the package" in getting help in this area.
Your article was a "glimmer of hope" to me in dealing with the elderly who could really use help managing finances - but in the area in which I work/live it just doesn't work like your article.
I enjoy each issue and especially the recent one on ethicolegal issues. Working with the elderly can provide some interesting dilemmas.