Bushnell Deborah A

Bushnell Deborah A Review

Reviews: 1


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Published: 18 August 2019

Posted by: Anonymously

In 2010 my sister and I were advised by a lawyer, Sherri Stinson, who regularly works together with Debbie Bushnell to get a legal guardian for my parents who were both mentally incapacitated at this point. We were under duress at the time since our parent’s doctor, Dr. Ronald Fernandez, decided to make himself POA over our stepfather’s estate. We were told that we could not be their guardian. In hindsight the assertion that I could not be their legal guardian did not have much basis in truth. Sherri Stinson then recommended Alison Carpenter to be the legal guardian who came with Deborah Bushnell as her lawyer. Deborah Bushnell told Sherri Stinson that in order for Alison Carpenter to be guardian my sister and I would have to sign our role as trustee over to Alison. We were never told what signing over the trustee ship meant, and we were never told that they would make it a court order that would ensure that Alison Carpentar’s trusteeship would extend beyond the time my parents passed away. We were only told that she had an hourly fee as guardian, and we were never told that Alison would pay herself $45,000 a year in order to be trustee. We were never told that we could have remained trustee even if Alison was guardian. We were not given a choice. It was either my parents losing their estates and trusts to Dr. Fernandez or sign over the trusts to Alison. By the time Deborah Bushnell and Alison Carpenter were finally ready to hand over our inheritance to us they had paid themselves over $400,000 in fees on combined estates and trust that were worth around 1.6 million, even though they claim it is worth 3 million. I wonder why there isn’t any money now to distribute then? They neither earned or deserved that amount as they did the bare minimum of work, which at best was adequate and at worst was damaging to us and our parents. They lost us even more money than they took out. When we questioned their fees we had to go to mediation in order to try to settle this and they basically threatened to take out $20,000 per month more for each month that we were disputing their fees, and they threatened to drag out any other actions until the point nothing would be left of our inheritance. At this point the only assets left of value are the condos and they have even threatened to sabotage the work my sister and I have been doing trying to prevent any further loss of value to those assets by either selling them or renting them out. They grossly misused their power that they wrested from us deceitfully in order to bully us into keeping what they already took from us. Alison Carpenter was a horrible guardian. From the start they claimed my parents did not have enough money to pay for all the things they had always paid for such as grandchildren’s gifts, airline tickets to Florida to visit them, money for college etc. Because I am a single mother I could not afford to pay for my children and I to fly to Florida, I was only able to save enough money to go see my mother a couple of times before she died. Because of Alison’s decision as guardian, and Debbie as her lawyer, my mother never got to see her grandchildren again. At the same time both Alison and Deborah Bushnell were able to pay themselves exorbitant fees. My stepfather died a horrible death because Alison failed to get hospice for him in the home. It was lucky I arrived in time for my mother’s dying process to ensure she did not suffer the same faith. Alison never kept us abreast of what was happening, and both Debbie and Alison seemed to already set the situation up so that we would be isolated from our parents, and they from us. Within a week of our parent’s death we went to Deborah Bushnell about their will. She never explained that she had ensured that Alison would stay trustee when she became guardian, and that there was a conflict of interest in Deborah Bushnell handling the estate since she was Alison’s lawyer and therefore could not act impartially on behalf of us the beneficiaries. Deborah Bushnell exerted a significant amount of pressure on us for me to sign over the personal representative position to Alison, during a time in which both of us were experiencing deep grief over the loss of our mother and stepfather. We were told that the time Debbie would need to take to work with Katherine as personal representative would cost us much more money than if we named Alison as personal representative. When Katherine tried to advocate for herself to be the executor/personal representative Debbie either obscured or lied about the difficulty in Katherine being the executor. She stated the distance would make it very difficult and implied that Katherine would not be paid to do the work until the end, so that Katherine believed she would have had to do all the work on top of her own full time job, as well as had to front all the money of traveling and working on finalizing trusts/estates until the very end. However when Alison did the job she paid herself in regular intervals. When we tried to remove Alison Carpenter as trustee less than 4 months after our parents died, we were bullied and shamed by Deborah Bushnell who told that we would not be able to do so. She failed to mention the part of the trusts that ensured that we could remove a trustee. She also discouraged from having Alison do even the most basic work as trustee stating that was beyond her job description. Not only were we charged exorbitant fees totaling $400,000, my parent’s two condos were allowed to sit there and depreciate, without being rented nor were any efforts made for them to be sold. Because of their inaction we lost the opportunity of a guaranteed long term rental, and lost out on the peak rental seasons which could have generated income to keep up the condos and pay for taxes and condo fees. We were told over and over again that there was not enough liquidity for Brenda and I to do the things we needed to do to keep our estate from depreciating. We were told that there was not enough money for us to fly here to sort through and sell contents. Partial distributions were never given. If the trustee was not up to managing the properties they should have been distributed right away. The excuse was no liquidity, however somehow their fees were taken out consistently. It is now over two years since my parents passed away and they are still holding onto the estates and trusts. We believe the have held on to properties to inflate their fees. Estate/Trust values are very inflated in order to inflate their fees. Not only do we believe they held on to properties to inflate their fees, there is a strong evidence that the time it took to administer trust was seriously extended without any good reasons. The court sent many notices to them to meet deadlines. Deborah Bushnell and Alison also acted too late in the case against a financial advisor and lost us the opportunity to win back the money from the now worthless investments that he had sold my parents at their advanced age. However these worthless investments were valued at their original purchase price in order to determine the percentage that they would pay themselves. Additional Guardianship fees seem to have been taken out after Judge closed that case. Although those may be legitimate they seem high and we are unsure if they are indeed court approved. No accountings were given until October 2014, close to two years after my parents died. We were not kept apprised of all financial actions in a timely manner, nor are all financial actions accounted for. In addition the accounting is not transparent, and we were not given the opportunity to review all financial documents. When we requested this information time and again we were told we had no right to see this information. The usual practice is to engage a professional appraiser if the decedent has rare or unusual items or was a serious collector like my stepfather. Alison failed to do so, and used an overinflated insurance appraisal to set her fees. She never provided an independent valuation of assets and therefore based her valuation of our contents on a seriously inflated insurance appraisal. She never did the court required inventory, and now several valuable items are missing. It is her fiduciary responsibility to pay bills. The estate is in danger of being harmed due to unpaid bills. .

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