Berman & Asbel, LLP

Conservators, probate judge approve sale of Mickey Rooney's home

Mickey Rooney began his career as a child star and overtime developed his talents as a movie star, television actor, talk show host, voice-over character, stage actor and even served as a radio personality. The actor celebrated his 92nd birthday recently, and while he still makes a number of appearances, his health has begun to fail.

When it became difficult to move around his million-dollar estate, he moved in with his current wife's son and daughter-in-law. As happens in some families, the children that the elderly parent lives with began assisting in the daily care and financial decision-making. In this case, allegations of elder abuse, fraud and fiduciary mishandling followed once the stepson and his wife took over.

The allegations were brought by the actor's attorneys in a request that they be named as conservators -- also commonly known as a guardianship -- of the actor's estate. The complaint alleged that the stepson and his wife began withholding the elderly actor's medications and food intake. These actions led the actor to suffer from depression at times. The complaints also alleged that the actor's finances were mishandled. The stepson and his wife also recently filed for bankruptcy protection.

A probate judge granted the request that the attorneys be named as conservators and most recently approved the sale of the actor's home to an investment company for $1.3 million. After the sale, the actor will receive $500,000 and another $525,000 will go to Rooney's current wife.

A conservator or a guardian is an individual who takes on the legal responsibility to make financial and business decisions for an individual who has become unable to do so. In this case, as conservators, the attorneys would be able to agree to the sale of the home and would control decisions involving the proceeds from the sale as well.

Source: Daily News, "Mickey Rooney's home to be sold for $1.3M to West Hills firm," Bill Hetherman, March 4, 2013

Our Philadelphia Guardianship page provides information about the appointment of an individual who can help manage decisions in situations of either partial or complete incapacity.

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