A current debate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC centers Guardian Abuse. As you might imagine, the singular solution presented regarding proposed probate reform was Federal intervention.
Activists from across the nation, claiming to be advocates for the disabled and elderly visited Capitol Hill and spoke about their concerns; including a call for federal intervention in guardianships.
Granted, questions over federal authority is an important discussion point in some of today’s hot policy issues. As you might imagine, federal encroachment into state court operations is usually met with mixed reaction.
After testimony, Congressional members later drafted a recommendation urging lawmakers to make guardianship and elder abuse a federally regulated issue.
As one who deals with this matter extensively, it is the belief of The Legacy Lawyers that the Government closest to the people is often the most effective.
The Tenth Amendment, however, is fairly straightforward in its authority delegation: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Per this clause, probate is a state issue.
Upon writing the Constitution, the Founding Fathers were sensitive to concentrations of power and potential power grabs. It wasn’t the states they were worried about and today’s political climate supports that point of view.
States are not agents reporting to a Washington D.C.-based centralized bureaucracy. The Federal government was created by and for states’ benefit – not the other way around.
There has been increasing federal overreach in the last years. New taxation and regulatory schemes increase financial burdens while diminishing personal and economic freedoms. In these days of federal oversight creating a controlling and oppressive blanket over us all, encouraging more intervention may yield unanticipated or disappointing consequences – especially intervention into an arena in which minimal, if any, legitimate authority exists on the Federal level.
With our federal government on the verge of insolvency, taking on more business, and business not related to federal issues is not wise and could open doors of legalized abuse by such a vast and distant oversight. Reality can no longer be ignored.
Even in the face of federalizing probate, The Legacy Lawyers will continue efforts here in the state of California and we encourage others to continue working in their respective states. In review, it makes one glad that changes in law do not come quickly or easily.
Tough times are ahead. Harsh economic conditions will likely make probate abuse worse before it gets better. That’s why efforts must continue. While there is no one right way to address policy issues, multiple wrong ways certainly do exist. Using various states as laboratories of experimentation to identify both good and bad courses maximizes the potential of recognizing useful strategies to yield meaningful probate reform by government closest to the people so that it best serves the people.