The more you look at the way estate matters are handled for the rich and famous, the more convinced you become that it is really difficult for families to handle these matters peacefully. Unfortunately, the family of blues legend B.B. King is experienced turmoil right now as the artist deals with some serious health issues.
Several of King’s children, suspecting that the aging artist’s longtime business manager may be taking money from his estate and failing to meet his medical needs, recently attempted to take control of the estate by seeking out a guardianship appointment. Their efforts failed, however, and the estate remains in the control of King’s manager, who has power of attorney over the estate.
The allegations of abuse and neglect have been denied by King’s manager, and both his attorney and his personal physician, as well as investigations from the state, have not lent any credibility to the suggestions of abuse, neglect or incapacity. In addition, the judge who heard the petition was unable to consider a guardianship action until legal notice is provided to all of King’s surviving children and grandchildren.
Capacity, of course, is an important term which refers to the ability of an individual to handle his or her personal affairs. Here in New York, incapacity can provide grounds for appointing a guardian. A court may appoint a guardian whenever it determines that a guardianship appointment is necessary to ensure that the personal needs and financial affairs of an individual are provided for and that the that the individual either agrees to the appointment or is incapacitated.
Proving incapacity is not always an easy matter. It requires clear and convincing proof that the individual is unable to manage their own personal needs or manage their own financial affairs and that they are unable to appreciate the consequences of their inability to manage their own affairs.
Guardianships are not always the most efficient way to ensure that a loved one is cared for, but families who feel a loved one could benefit from a guardianship can benefit from working with an experienced attorney in seeking out a guardianship.
Source: ABC News, “No Evidence B.B. King Is Being Abused, Judge Rules,” Ken Ritter, May 7, 2015.