Erosion of the American Dream

August 7, 2015 by Robin

Erosion of the American Dream The American Dream: the belief that through hard work every citizen of the United States has the opportunity for prosperity, success and advancement in social status. Historically, American parents have aspired to build better lives for their children than they themselves had and to create legacies that can be built upon and passed on through future generations. This very philosophy is rooted in the United States Declaration of Independence that states “all men are created equal” and that they are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Today, the American Dream of our elders is quickly becoming the American Nightmare. Today’s elderly, those who were born in the U.S.A. and who are now 80 years old and older, witnessed World War II when men left their families to go off to war overseas and women, who had always been homemakers, went to work at the factories to fill the jobs that previously were held by their men. They and their parents were united as a citizenry and so strongly believed in the civil rights this country provides that they or their parents were willing to give their lives to preserve these rights. These very same people were also affected by the Great Depression as they or their families stood in breadlines, suffered financial hardships and perhaps even poverty. As a result of growing up during these problematic times, historically, their generation gained a reputation as being disciplined, self- sacrificing and cautious. They worked hard to earn and save their money. They dreamed of owning their own homes, they strived to provide their children lives that were far more enriched than theirs and planned to establish legacies for their future generations. If life worked out financially for them, they wanted to preserve their estates for themselves as they grew older and protect themselves and their children from probate court. To protect their legacies, long ago our elders established wills, family partnerships, trusts and irrevocable trusts believing that their family estates were safe from probate court. However, since that time, good laws meant to help the elderly who are no longer able to care for themselves and have no one to care for them have been despicably twisted by a greedy court system and their public officials leaving all of our elderly vulnerable. Today, even when loving family members are ready and able to care for their elders, probate court will pierce trusts, dissolve partnerships and even rewrite wills and then assign public administrators (who have their own attorneys) and bill the elder’s estate for their services, including their attorneys’ fees, to “care” for the elder for as long as the estate have value. Once the wealth of the estate has been depleted by these fees, the court appointed “liquidating trustee” liquidates the estate and then pays all debtors with the proceeds from the estate. Keep in mind, attorneys and court assigned administrators always get paid first from the estate and usually very little, if anything is left to the proper heirs. One of the biggest dangers to our civil rights is the absence of people challenging the twisting of the meaning of our laws to fit the materialistic needs of court appointed officials and the judges who instate them. Slowly, our entrenched civil rights as confirmed by the United States Declaration of Independence are eroding. This country faces the possibility of its citizens losing faith in its legal system if these kinds of people are allowed to continue their malpractice. If we, the people, just stand by, the mental, moral, and emotional character of the American Dream will take on a twisted connotation and soon become the American Nightmare.        www.coffergroup.org(Coalition Of Families For Elder Rights)