Florida places Holocaust survivor in guardianship without due process

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On December 4th, a beautiful and brilliant 88-year-old Holocaust Survivor named Marie Winkelman was put into guardianship in the Sarasota, Florida Probate Court – without a hearing – based upon a mediation agreement.  Marie is a recent resident of Bird Key who still lives independently and keeps her home in immaculate condition.

The mediation agreement was prepared by Federal Mediator Gary Larsen, which Marie did not see until after the mediation. Her fortune of many millions, which she earned through decades of hard work and prudent investments, is now in the hands of a company named Sabal Trust with which she has never had any contact. Through the mediated agreement, she is given a monthly allowance of her own money, despite the fact she has always spent her money judiciously.

View my petition to save Marie from guardianship and place her in the hands of her blood relative here. The actions by the Probate Court violate Marie’s durable power of attorney.

The numerous attorneys involved in her case, including Barry Spivey, Christopher Likens, Kim Bald, Rebecca Proctor, and Thomas Shults, will collect hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Survivor’s assets, even though she was denied her due process rights.

This case strongly resembles the guardianship of my Father and fellow Holocaust Survivor, Al Katz, and involves some of the same persons. My Father’s guardianship has been documented for years by the media as a horror story; yet, the horrors to Survivors continue. Many other Jewish elders living here in Florida, with loving adult children, are facing this same scenario, in which attorneys collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in guardianship proceedings, even though family members are happy to care for their elders. Nonetheless, family ties are broken in many guardianships, and assets are consumed at exponential rates by attorneys and guardians.

Extensive media coverage of guardianship abuse of a 99-year-old man wrongfully put into guardianship in Pinellas County has finally (JUST TODAY!) freed him. Besides the media coverage, Willi Berchau had a church community united behind him for years. I plead with you, therefore, to unite behind dear Marie, a Survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto, to free her from guardianship.

Please join us in working together to release Marie from guardianship. For more information about Helping Elders please call: 941-313-9239 or email: helpelders@hotmail.com.

4 replies
  1. Elaine Renoire
    Elaine Renoire says:

    To think that Marie Winkelman, a woman who survived unspeakable horrors during the Holocaust, would have her freedom and her life taken away from her by the land of the free and the home of brave when she grew old and vulnerable, is beyond a tragic irony.

    Thank you, Beverly Newman, for being a champion for this woman and so many other victims of unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships. I know you won’t give up until Marie is safe in the hands of her relatives and loved ones.

    Join the National movement for reform: Join NASGA!

  2. Frania block
    Frania block says:

    My mother has been put into s locked dementia unit, false medical reports written , drugged with psychotropic medecines she never took or needed in her life . Continuous drugging , isolation from her family and normal life , Begging to be free have now almost killed her . During the holocaust she was saved by catholic priest and other times by German soldiers . Please come forth and save Paula Kryszpel now

  3. Frania
    Frania says:

    PAULA Kryszpel is a woman of valor , a person people admired and had respect for . She did not ever understand why . It was because to het courage and honesty were the most normal thing to her .wasnt everyone btave when Confronted with danger ? Wasn’t honesty just a basic human trait that allowed the world to be a better place . A safer place ? These basic traits this humble, hard working immigrant woman possessed that were so natural to her are total opposite of wha has been done to her . For PAULA, a light to others her entire life , a life saver to others without needing thanks or accolades . To her it is what people do for each other , naural as breathing ,please help her be free


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