The fairness of guardian fees

December 14, 2012

Regarding the Nov. 30 front-page article “Guardian fees come under scrutiny”:

Our firm, Needham Mitnick & Pollack, has served as guardian and conservator in numerous cases over the last 20 years, including many pro bono cases. We take our responsibilities seriously, as evidenced by our reputation in the community. We also take seriously the misleading reporting by The Post in this article. 

What was not stated in the article is that both an independent court investigator and the judge reviewed all of our bills for seven years of work and concluded that all of our time was reasonable and that the services performed were necessary, appropriate, proper and of value to the wards. To illustrate just one problem with the story, the article’s closing implied that our goal was to deplete the Drakuliches’ estates of all assets. However, when Jeanne Drakulich died in December 2010, there was more than $379,000 in her estate and all four Drakulich children asked our firm to serve as administrator of her estate.

By not providing a balanced story, The Post has done a disservice to the valuable work performed by the elder law community. 

Helen Cohn Needham, Judith A. Mitnick and Susan K. Pollack, Falls Church

The writers are the principals of the law firm Needham Mitnick & Pollack.

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