Thanks to ongoing coverage of his plight, which put a good deal of attention and pressure on the trustee in charge of his fortune, millionaire Alan Fantin finally has a real home.
A terrible car accident had left Fantin, who is now aged 51, suffering from a partial paralysis and a bad head injury. He was only 14 years old at the time.
A subsequent lawsuit and settlement gave Fantin a settlement that was placed into a trust for his future use. By the time reporters started looking into his affairs, he was worth around $3 million.
Unfortunately, the conservators handling his trust ended up in conflict with their charge — and the costs of handling Fanin’s funds seemed to skyrocket. Meanwhile, Fantin actually saw very little of the money he was supposed to have for his food, shelter, clothing and other needs each year.
In fact, while Fantin received only a mere $2,000 a month to live, his latest conservator charged him about $30,000 per year in fees for managing his money — which is more than Fanin himself receives from the trust.
The major trouble seems to be the current conservator’s personal judgments about the lifestyle of his client. He filed court documents saying that, in essence, Fantin allows too many people to live with him without paying rent and smokes too much marijuana.
For his part, Fantin says that marijuana is how he controls the seizures remaining from his decades-old injuries. He also says that his conservator didn’t give him the money he needed for legal fees. As a result, he ended up homeless.
Ultimately, his conservator asked the court to declare Fantin mentally unsound and appoint a guardian to control most of the aspects of his life. Fantin had to fight back in order to prove his competency.
It’s important to note that competency isn’t defined as living your life according to the standards others hold dear. Fanin won his case — although he still needs help managing his finances.
With court-appointed help, he’s reclaimed a good portion of his income and is on much more solid footing.
Cases like these illustrate the importance of careful special needs planning for long-term situations. The wrong choice can play out in painful ways in the future and thwart otherwise carefully laid plans.
Source: Westword, “Alan Fantin Finds New Home, New Hope in Probate Court Battle,” Alan Predergast, accessed March 06, 2018