Trouble in Louisiana, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA

An estate case in Louisiana has raised ethical concerns for the local executive director of the council on aging.

A few months ago, a 95-year-old woman in Louisiana, Helen Plummer, passed away. Her family knew that she had about $300,000 in liquid assets and two homes.

What they were not aware of, is that a will had been drawn up for Plummer and they are extremely unhappy about that will.

About two years ago, Plummer started visiting the local council on aging. While there, an attorney board member of the council drafted a will for her. The will created a trust to oversee Plummer’s estate.

The executive director of the council was named as the trustee and given a $500 monthly benefit from the trust for her services until the last trust beneficiary reaches the age of 30, which will occur in 21 years.

WRBZ2 reported on this story in “Family claims 95-year-old swindled by Council on Aging director.”

Upon learning of the will, the family began removing cash from Plummer’s bank accounts, since they were afraid the director would seize it. This prompted the director to sue the family members.

They claim that they have not spent any of the money, they have records and it was inappropriate for the director to be given a stipend in a will which the council on aging had drafted and the family was not told about.

Local elected officials have become involved in the case, since the director’s actions may be against the state’s ethics rules.

This case is interesting since it is often appropriate to name a non-family member as a trustee who can be trusted to act independently and that trustee is normally paid for the services. However, there are ethical concerns for a council on aging to draft such a will for the benefit of its director.

It would be more appropriate for an outside attorney to advise on and draft a will.

Reference: WRBZ2 (April 29, 2017) “Family claims 95-year-old swindled by Council on Aging director.”


Hear From Our Clients

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce

Josh Nelson, and his staff, have been amazingly helpful to our family. The ins and outs of nursing homes, the rules and regulations that govern Medicare and Medicaid are daunting and the folks at Nelson Elder Care Law have been informative, responsive, and above all, empathetic. I cannot emphasize enough how their service has taken a weight off of our shoulders especially during a world pandemic that has targeted nursing homes across our country. I highly recommend retaining Josh and his firm!

- Marcia

I had a simple legal question to them that I needed answered and they very helpful in giving me the information I needed. I highly recommend them and will reach out to them if I need more advice or assistance. Thank you for taking your time to just answer a couple of questions I had!

- Ben