Guadalupe Olvera’s right to move in with his daughter in Aptos was disputed by Nevada authorities for almost three years. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

Guadalupe Olvera’s right to move in with his daughter in Aptos was disputed by Nevada authorities for almost three years. (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

Last month Guadalupe Olvera, 93, rode in the Aptos Fourth of July parade. A survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, Olvera cruised through town in a vintage World War II jeep with his fellow VFW members. They waved at the families lining the streets, who saluted from the sidewalk and shouted, “Thank you for your service!”  

It was a lovely day, but it’s been a long road for Olvera and his family to the Aptos parade. For most of the last three years Olvera and his daughter, Rebecca Schultz of Aptos, have been entangled in a messy and expensive guardianship dispute with his court-appointed guardian, Jared Shafer, a professional guardian and fiduciary who operates a business in Las Vegas.

Guardianship, also referred to as conservatorship, is a legal process where a judge appoints a third party individual to care for a “ward,” usually an elderly or disabled person. The guardian takes direct control over the ward’s life, both personally and financially. The guardian is often responsible for big decisions such as where the ward will live, who is allowed to visit with the ward and even whether to continue with life-support systems. 

But the three-year dispute with Shafer wasn’t over the finer details of Olvera’s care. It was over who was entitled to serve as guardian of him and his nearly $1 million estate: Shafer or Schultz, Olvera’s only living child.

Schultz, an artist given to impassioned exclamation over injustices, sees more than a troublesome series of lawsuits for herself over the course of the ordeal. She sees at best a system weighted against families and at worst a conspiracy to steal from the elderly, sanctioned by Nevada courts and overlooked by the federal government.

She claims that Shafer has stolen outright from her father, saying that a year’s worth of Olvera’s carpenter pensions and social security payments are missing and have “never been accounted for.”

She says Shafer fabricated bills and withdrew excessive funds from Olvera’s Wells Fargo checking account, depleting it by almost $300,000 since November 2009.

“I went into this not knowing anything about guardianship. Not knowing anything about lawyers. I’m just an artist. I’m just a normal person. I didn’t know how bad Nevada was. I didn’t know how corrupt it was,” says Schultz.

Neither Shafer nor his attorneys would comment for this article.


Bait & Switch

In 2002, as Schultz tells it, her father and mother moved to Nevada, “lured by promotional videos sent by property developers” promising no state income taxes and ample senior citizen services. The couple moved to Nevada alone, leaving behind their only living daughter and their grandchild. Schultz says she discouraged them from leaving California, where they had lived for their entire adult lives, but kept in touch with them and visited their Nevada home.

In 2005 Olvera’s wife filed for guardianship over her husband’s person. (Court documents obtained by the Weekly state that Olvera has had mild dementia since 2004 but that he is able to communicate and express preferences.) When his wife died in November 2009, Olvera’s guardianship was freed up. Nevada law states that a guardian must live in the same state as the ward, so Schultz wasn’t immediately qualified. She called Family Court Commissioner Jon Norheim’s office for advice. According to Schultz, the woman who answered the phone told her she would need to have a temporary guardian put in place and gave her Shafer’s unlisted home telephone number.

When Schultz called Shafer, he told her she needed an attorney, too. Schultz says he set up an appointment for her with elder law attorney Elyse Tyrell for the next morning.

At the appointment with Tyrell the next day, Schultz says they agreed to put Shafer in place as a temporary guardian while Schultz worked out the details of moving her father to California so she could become his guardian and care for him there. Tyrell filed the guardianship orders immediately.

A few days later, Schultz and Shafer went to her father’s home together and stepped aside for a private conversation about Olvera’s guardianship.

According to Schultz, that day Shafer told her that he expected he would be able to transfer the guardianship of her father to Schultz within three to six months. She says he told her not to mention anything about guardianship to her father for fear that it might cause him anxiety, and limited how long her visits with her father could last.

These limitations seemed strange and frustrating to Schultz, who grew eager to bring her father back to California with her and leave the situation behind them.

When she returned to California in late November 2009, Schultz conducted an internet search of Shafer and found something unsettling: an ethics charge brought against him from the family of another ward, back in 2003. This seemed like a red flag to Schultz, who turned to her attorney, Tyrell, for assistance and says she got quite a surprise.

“She told me, ‘I don’t work for you, I work for Jared Shafer. You’re more than welcome to hire another attorney and petition the court for guardianship.’”

In November, Schultz had paid Tyrell a total of $3,700 for her legal services, outlined in a document signed by both women that states plainly, “This agreement is made on this 13th day of November, 2009, between Rebecca Schultz as guardian for Guadalupe Olvera and the law firm of Trent, Tyrell & Associates.”

On Feb. 9, 2010, however, Schultz received a letter from Tyrell that included a reimbursement check for the $3,700. The letter denied that Tyrell had ever been Schultz’s attorney: “During our meeting on November 13, 2009 and, during several telephone conversations subsequent thereto, I explained to you that I represent Jared E. Shafer as your father’s guardian and I do not represent you.”

Tyrell failed to respond to multiple phone messages left by the Weekly


Caught in a perplexing situation by people she had believed to be working for her, Schultz hired other lawyers and went to the family court in Las Vegas in an attempt to remove Shafer as guardian and have herself and her husband appointed. Delays by the court and complaints by Shafer about Schultz’s character alleging that she was after her father’s money (“character assassination,” says Schultz) stalled the process.

Finally, in September 2010, Schultz defied the Nevada court and brought her father from Las Vegas to her home in Aptos, where he resides today. He spends most of his time in a nicely appointed room in Schultz’s house. Schultz and her husband Robert provide meals, laundry, help with bathing and transportation to doctor visits to her father. Olvera stated numerous times in a court report that his daughter and son-in-law treat him “like gold.” Schultz estimates they save him $7,300 a month—the figure Shafer’s care giving agency charged.

Schultz remembers the day in 2009 that she spoke with Shafer in her father’s home about the temporary guardianship. She says he assured her he didn’t like to hold onto cases like Olvera’s for more than three to six months and then added, “You know, I don’t even have to go to court. The judges give me what I want.”


Lite Court

Just two weeks before Schultz moved her father to California, Schultz and Olvera sat in a hearing before Clark County Nevada Family Court Commissioner Jon Norheim. Across from them sat Jared Shafer and Alan Freer, one of the several attorneys Shafer works with. Schultz and Olvera had two attorneys, Stephen Mayfield and Brian Boggess.

A video of the hearing viewed by the Weekly shows casual courtroom decorum by Norheim and Shafer and peculiar behavior by Norheim, who is supposed to be hearing both sides of the case.

Norheim perches at the judge’s bench, sipping out of a large soda and personally outlining the reasons the court is recommending Olvera stay in Las Vegas. Freer isn’t required to say anything until over halfway through the proceedings—Norheim rebuts the assertions of Schultz’s attorneys himself. All the while Shafer, wearing a T-shirt, reclines in his seat with his hands folded behind his head.

Olvera stands up, again wearing his WW2 uniform, and announces forcefully, “I’m going to California no matter what. I’m not going to live here. I don’t need that man; I don’t need Jared [Shafer]!”

“I’m not willing to make that jump today,” says Commissioner Norheim, with an apologetic smile. “You may have greater luck at a higher level than me.” 

Norheim then cites a report conducted by a court social worker months before, which allegedly says Olvera didn’t want to move to California.

“There has been a determination that Mr. Shafer is doing a good job,” says Norheim. “The ward has continuously expressed that he doesn’t want to move to California, that he wants to be here with the friends in the facility that he’s in, because he developed bonds there…he likes the social environment there.”

That piece, though, is odd. Olvera didn’t live in a facility with a social environment. He lived at home, alone, with just a single caregiver from an organization called Keep You Company.

Schultz repeatedly refers to this experience as a “kangaroo court,” and says she wonders if Norheim even read the case documents. 


Nationwide Problem

Adding insult to the injury, Schultz paid for her attorney fees with the help of a friend. Freer’s fees, however, were taken out of Olvera’s estate—but padded first, according to Schultz.

In fact, bank statements from Shafer’s guardianship, viewed by the Weekly, show several confounding billing discrepancies. There are duplicate billings of multiple invoices with the same invoice number. There are extraordinarily high charges, such as a total of $7,475 billed for emails sent over the period of just 19 days, all listed at exactly “6 minutes each.” One bill shows a bizarre charge for 1.666667 hours. After Olvera moved to California, Shafer continued to bill his estate for in-person visits with him, which would have been impossible.

Guardians are lawfully allowed to use the elderly ward’s estate money to fight in court to maintain the guardianship, often in cases against the ward’s children or other family members, resulting in a mind-bending Catch-22. People like Schultz wind up feeding the very system they’re fighting against.

Schultz’s accusations against Shafer may seem extreme and almost unbelievable, but she is far from the only one making these claims. Just typing the name Jared E. Shafer into Google’s search engine pulls up several pages of complaints against him on consumer report websites, making it impossible to unearth his professional web site through the heaps of corruption accusations. And this isn’t just a Las Vegas problem.

“This is happening on an ongoing basis all over the country. The states where old folks go to retire like Florida, Nevada, California are the worst,” affirms Elaine Renoire, Director of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse.

In a September 2010 report on the issue, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) “identified hundreds of allegations of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2010.”

“In 20 selected closed cases,” the report reads, “GAO found that guardians stole or otherwise improperly obtained $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated victims, many of whom were seniors. In some instances, guardians also physically neglected and abused their victims.”

Closer to home, the Mercury News recently conducted a six-month investigation into guardian and fiduciary abuse in Santa Clara County. Reporters found similar instances of lavish bills from guardians going unchallenged by the courts. 


The Weekly spoke with Robert L. Morris, a partner in the Las Vegas law firm Grant, Morris and Dobbs specializing in estate, trust administration and guardianship. Morris is unaffiliated with Schultz’s case but says he has had clients with similar complaints against professional guardians and that Schultz’s situation doesn’t surprise him.

Morris says that, as a practice, he doesn’t refer clients to professional guardians like Shafer.

“You run into these issues of breach of fiduciary duty, mismanagement with any professional guardian who is out there for hire,” he says.

Further, Morris notes that Clark County courts are “very busy” and unlikely to catch fraudulent or exorbitant charges by professional guardians from their ward’s estates, even though it is technically the court’s job to approve or deny all billings related to guardianship.

“The court is going to approve those fees,” he says simply.

Renoire explains that most professional guardianship situations come about as the result of family disputes: “Sometimes family members get into a dispute about money or care issues and take the matter to court. They expect the judge to hear both sides and make a fair decision. On a growing level instead, the judge hears family disputes and brings in a third party as a guardian or conservator.”

Renoire encourages families, especially those with elderly parents, to turn to respected community members and counselors before taking their disputes to court in order to avoid a messy and expensive guardianship situation.

“Most people that need a guardian need one quickly, and they don’t have time to do research. They don’t know about guardianship until they’re stuck. It’s like stepping in quick sand.”

“The newest wave of victims are coming to shore: Baby Boomers,” she adds.


Victory Day

Once in Santa Cruz County, Schultz researched local fiduciaries and decided on William Chaddock, a Santa Cruz fiduciary with over 30 years of experience. On July 16, Santa Cruz family court judge Timothy Volkmann and The Grunsky Firm, representing Shafer locally, agreed to appoint Chaddock as guardian over Olvera’s estate and Schultz and her husband as guardian over her father’s person. Shafer’s guardianship will be terminated, as long as Shafer and the Nevada courts finalize the procedure.

Keith Dysart, Schultz’s local attorney, encouraged her to take the day off and celebrate—she had won. Schultz reports that she was in shock, and says she doesn’t feel out of the woods yet. She expects Shafer will drag out the transition, making it “difficult and expensive.”

Schultz, for her part, isn’t finished.

“We still are, for a long time, going to be dealing with making Shafer accountable. That’s going to be the issue now. I’m still going to keep at it with the feds and everything. It’s not over.”

“It has consumed my life because I’m a fighter,” she says. “He’s messed with the wrong family this time. I’m not going to let it go.”


Related Posts

  • Linda Kincaid

    Abusive and unethical conservatorships are common in California.  I have personally encountered victims in Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and San Bernardino Co. 

    In Santa Clara County, the Public Guardian has isolated a conservatee for over two years.  The PG sold her home to fund their abuse.  Department of Social Services, San Jose Police, and the courts do nothing to help her. 

    In San Bernardino County, two financial planners and my mom’s step-granddaughter abducted my mom, stole over $1M, and isolated my mom for 15 months.  The Court rewarded the step-granddaughter by appointing her as conservator.  My mom has been denied needed medical care for two years under this conservatorship.  San Bernardino County DA says the situation is “nothing out of the ordinary.”

    Abuse by public guardians and court-appointed conservators will continue to be “nothing out of the ordinary” until the public demands accountability for guardians and decent treatment for our elders. If we do not fix this very broken system, then we are its next victims.

  • Elaine Renoire

    Thank you, Georgia Perry and Santa for the sunshine of the media on the Olvera case and the bleeding of Guadalupe Olvera’s estate from his court-appointed conservator and “protector,” Jared Shafer. 

    Unlawful and abusive adult conservatorships are harming families and pauperizing vulnerable, disabled, and elderly people all over this country.

    Conservatorship law is designed to “guard,” “conserve” and “protect incompetent people and the public. Over the years, the laws have been misused, misapplied, or manipulated to unjustly enrich court-appointed fiduciaries at the expense of and to the detriment of the very people the courts have appointed them to protect.

    The Olvera case is an apt example of the old adage that one can “steal” more with a pen than a gun.  Because the courts have “sanctioned” the abuse (by approving of the exorbitant fee billings), complaints to policing authorities are to no avail. 

    This outrageous abuse can happen to anyone. We all become vulnerable at some time in our lives.

    Guardianship abuse IS elder abuse!
    JOIN the national movement for reform.  Join NASGA! 

    Elaine Renoire

  • Sue Hartman

    Excellent reporting by Georgia Perry.  Awareness of how the schemes, how the system works in the best financial interest of the guardianship team is critical to educate and warn society what is waiting for them and their loved ones. 

    It is known the lawyers and professional guardians, fiduciaries are in control of the courtroom.  Probate churns people into products to feed the machine.

    Becky is doing a great job; she is doing the unexpected and she is not going away demanding accountability and responsibility for all the right reasons – she knows there is wrongdoing and worse.  She is demanding justice, giving her WWII Dad a voice, he will be heard!

    Schultz, for her part, isn’t finished.

    “We still are, for a long time, going to be dealing with making Shafer accountable. That’s going to be the issue now. I’m still going to keep at it with the feds and everything. It’s not over.”

    “It has consumed my life because I’m a fighter,” she says. “He’s messed with the wrong family this time. I’m not going to let it go.”



  • Rich

    Conservatorship abuse needs more media coverage. My ‘mother-in-law’s’ situation started when her front door was kicked in by an accountant and tax preparer. There is no dispute between any first or second degree relatives. Temporary conservator is suppose to be for 60-days or less. It will be nearly 3-years in my case and that is only if the trial isn’t delayed yet again.

    Conservatorship abuse is not limited to private or professional guardians. In Santa Clara County the public guardian, often paid with tax dollars, uses double escrows (costing the conservatees thousands of dollars in a single day), pays real estate commissions typically 33% higher than market commissions, obtains and maintains reverse mortgages on vacant houses (a violation of the terms of the loan), and illegally restricts visitations (violating Probate Code § 4689 and Judicial Council form GC341). There is federal regulation stating the conservatee maintains the right to have visitors. Unlike other federal civil rights violations, the feds defer this civil right violation back to the states opposed to stepping in themselves to protect these basic rights.

    If the conservator commits elder abuse there is no legal recourse until the elder dies. This is because the laws say an interested party may file, but the Courts determined elder abuse is a personal injury case and only the injured or their legal representative has standing to file litigation. A conservatee’s legal representative is the conservator. No conservator is going to file litigation against themselves. The Appeals Court had an opportunity to rule, but instead made no decision claiming this was unlikely to reoccur. Stevens v. Stevens Cal: Court of Appeal, 2nd Appellate Dist., 2nd Div., 2009 B211352


    The California legislators should step up to the plate and clarify their previous legislation specifically stating their intention of using the term any “interested person” was intended to give family members and elder advocates the right to file elder abuse litigation on behalf of elders while the elder is living. By clarifying existing law opposed to passing a new law, it would apply for those elders that have already been abused. The real kicker is their is a 2-year limitation on elder abuse. The current misguided judicial interpretation makes elder abuse the perfect crime in California. Conservators can do anything they want to a conservatee without recourse, as long as the elder is not abused during their last 2-years of their life.

    It should not surprise anyone that elder abuse is so common.

  • Anonymous

    This Shafer guy sounds as bad as that Thorpe fiduciary in Santa Clara. How sad.

  • Elaine Renoire

    Readers might also be interested in reading a profile of the guardianship of Marcy. 

    Jared Shafer was Marcy’s court-appointed guardian too – until her death:

  • R.S.

    Read more about the corrupt practices of Jared E. Shafer imposed about WW2 Vet Lupe Olvera at:

    Also read more about another victim of Jared E. Shafer, Marcy Dudeck (deceased prematurely due to Shafer’s “guardianship”) at:

    Note: On Mr. Olvera’s page you’ll find that the 2 main entities that are condoning (acting more as accomplices) elder abuse in Nevada by Jared E. Shafer is Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Denise Calabrese, Executive Director of the Center For Guardian Certification (CGC), a sham non-profit allowing unethical and criminal individuals to be certified to practice as guardians who are supposed to follow their Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics imposed by CGC’s sister agency, the National Guardianship Association (NGA). NGA gave birth to CGC and both even use the same CPA. They are nothing but complices, allowing Jared E. Shafer to violate their own standards and codes. NGA and CGC must be made accountable for not running background checks on their certified guardians in the past. Only as of Jan. 2012 have they decided to now verify credentials and conduct background checks. A little late now for the victims of Jared E. Shafer, who they certified long ago and continue to protect despite a multitude of verifiable complaints. All these entities must be brought to justice, and SOON.

  • Diane Wilson

    Guardianship abuse is alive and well in New York. Nassau County, Long Island, attorney Mary Giordano, Franchina and Giordano in Garden City was my Mom’s “law” guardian. For 3 years we were in a nightmare court battle. Mom wanted to live with me and I was willing and able to care for her. Instead, Mary took out a reverse mortgage on Mom’s house with the blessing of Judge Joel Asarch of Nassau County Supreme Court in Mineola. In 2 years more than $350,000 was gone and Mom was advised she could no longer live in her home. And they refused to allow her to live with me. On August 22, 2011, Mom was kidnapped from her home and incarcerated in a nursing home against her will. I fought to get her out but two months later she was dead. The stress and strain and fear killed her. Guardianship needs to be abolished.

    Diane Wilson!/pages/SAVE-Dorothy-Wilson-Legally-Kidnapped/247391268633971

  • Erna Boldt

    It is well to remember, that local laws of Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation are considered a “Civil” matter when most of the abused victims are subjected to criminal activities.

    Clever lawyers, guardians, trustees, and in a good many of cases, family members are involved, in compliance with the judiciary to cover up the lack of law enforcement, to investigate and prosecute reported Elder Abuse and Exploitation as a crime.

  • Rudy

    Wells Fargo Bank keeps coming up over and over in handing over $1 Million senior citizen estates to guardian thieves.  Wells Fargo’s personal account office in Henderson Nevada, when contacted by yours truly, stated that it has no fiduciary responsibility to know or care what is being done with the money, and it has no need to abide by the terms of a trust document, when there is a guardian.  When Wells Fargo is acting as a “trustee,” Wells Fargo has no need to worry about being sued by people who have been impoverished by Wells Fargo’s actions, since there is no longer money for a lawyer, and these people have no right to sue, only the guardian has that right.  However, the guardian, who is taking all the money is “conflicted,” cannot sue Wells Fargo, and the guardian would not want to.  The question remains, and was not answered by Wells Fargo, how does Wells Fargo benefit by entirely draining a trust, and accounts that it gets paid for administrating?  If Wells Fargo continues to drain accounts of its senior citizen depositors,without even going to court for instructions, this could lead to another bank bailout, impacting the economy negatively.  As of now the federal government pays on both ends, over-looks, does not over-see, but does give banks, like Wells Fargo, to start guardianship cases, without taking responsibility for bank illegal actions.  When contacted, again, by yours truly, the federal Comptroller of the Currency stated, “Nobody controls national banks.”

  • Rebecca

    Thank you, Santa Cruz Weekly, for permitting Georgia Perry to tell the story of the exploitation of my father by Nevada Guardian, Jared E. Shafer. Exposure is the key to attacking this national problem. Kudos to Georgia for a great job!

    It is important to note that corrupt individuals like Jared E. Shafer always seem to find like-minded attorneys to represent them, even in our beautiful Santa Cruz County. The article mentioned that Shafer was being represented by The Grunsky Firm in Santa Cruz County (specifically Tom Dwyer and Matt Aulenta).

    It should be known that The Grunsky Firm ALSO represents my husband and I via our nonprofit resident member owned water company, Trout Gulch Mutual Water. The Grunsky Firm was hired by our TGW in 2007 and because my husband and I are 2 of the owners of TGW, that makes us also clients of The Grunsky Firm in Watsonville. My husband, Robert, is also on the board of directors of Trout Gulch Mutual Water.  This issue was pointed out to the Grunsky Firm by one of our attorneys when Grunsky began representing Shafer again in our recent conservatorship filing in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.  Despite Matt Aulenta and Tom Dwyer fully knowing that their firm represented Jared E. Shafer as well as my husband and I at the same time, they continued to act in a CLEAR and OBVIOUS CONFLICT OF INTEREST by continuing to represent Shafer.

    Needless to say, members of our TGW and the board of directors were NOT happy about this blatant and unethical behavior and will NO LONGER be using The Grunsky Firm—they have officially decided to NEVER hire The Grunsky Firm again. I hope Mr. Dwyer and Mr. Aulenta and their firm are happy to know now they have forever lost a client and that their reputation is now tarnished. It’s shocking that a local legal group, the Grunsky Firm, has demonstrated such wanton and reckless disregard for a veteran of WW2 by representing a fiduciary having such a soiled reputation as Jared E. Shafer.

    In addition, we were told by others in the legal community that Mr. Dwyer “pads his bills”, certainly an unethical behavior which Shafer certainly encourages, especially when Dwyer bills my father’s estate AGAIN.  Perhaps the American Bar and the State Bar needs to hear about this firm’s tactics.  Over a year ago when we first filed for a conservatorship, Tom Dwyer billed my father’s estate (through Shafer) $12,000 for not much of anything productive at all.  And, later, after that $12,000 was taken from my father’s trust in Nevada, Shafer presented that bill AGAIN for the $12,000 to the Nevada court for payment. 

    I hope people now realize that The Grunsky Firm in Watsonville willingly affiliates themselves with the most unsavory of clients and seem content to be accomplices in the exploitation of a 93 year old WW2 veteran of the Army and post war veteran of the Air Force.

  • D. “Deuke” Eukel

    Georgia Perry, your article was excellent. I’m able to say that authoritatively, because I was the senior editor at a newspaper in Las Vegas, Nevada, who wrote the series of articles about Jared E. Shafer, which alerted Becky to his criminal activities and the Family court’s indulgence.

    Jared E. Shafer, the former Clark County Public Guardian/Administrator, belongs in prison! The destruction he is responsible for; the damage he has done to families in locations all over the country that came under his grinding and manipulating hands is beyond belief.

    I am very relieved to read that Becky finally was able to get her father away from Shafer’s suffocating mitts.

    This ongoing problem with guardian’s, and their abuse, as Elaine Renoire pointed out, is widespread. It is more than time for legislators to act in stopping this abuse forever.

    Shafer, may you die in shame!

  • Rebecca

    I neglected to mention that The Grunsky Firm also engaged in another scenario of conflict of interest. At our first CA hearing, Matt Aulenta attempted to have professional fiduciary, Sandra Hill, be conservator of my father’s estate. Sandy Hill is ALSO a client of The Grunsky Firm, as is Jared E. Shafer. It was ALREADY a conflict of interest for Grunsky to represent my husband and I via our water company while representing Mr. Shafer to oppose us and then they tried to set us up by putting Sandy Hill in place, who hires Tom Dwyer of Grunsky to represent herself on a regular basis. Grunsky works for Ms. Hill and Mr. Shafer and yet they want Sandy Hill to be conservator for my father’s estate? That would be a disaster. This indicates that Ms. Hill must be in the same category of fiduciaries as Mr. Shafer and this clearly exhibits the degree of unethical tactics The Grunsky Firm engages in. Then there was the issue of Grunsky attempting to discredit another local fiduciary because we rejected Sandy Hill.  Dirty tactics, indeed. It’s sad that we have attorneys in Santa Cruz County like this firm that operate in the same ugly mode as Jared E. Shafer does in his filthy city of Las Vegas. It’s no wonder they were so willing to represent Mr. Shafer, especially with him promising them they’ll be well paid from my 93 yr. old father’s hard earned life savings—very convenient for Tom Dwyer with his reputation of padding bills.  Immoral, all of them.

  • gale

    My mother is one of many Shafer victims.  As of August 3, 2012 she is living in a senior home in Las Vegas where the living conditions are horrible. Mr. Shafer placed her their against her wishes on February 9, 2012.  I’ve been fighting to remove mom and return her to Idaho Falls where she lived for 72 years before moving to Las Vegas to enjoy the desert sun.
      I have a four bedroom home on two acres of land. Our children have left the nest.  My husband and I want to take care of her.  We have sufficient funds to hire private care, but Mr. Shafer will not even discuss the possibility.  In fact Mr. Shafer told us if we attempt to fight his guardianship things will become difficult for my mother.
      I’ve received two accounting statements from Mr. Shafer’s people and they show close to $215,000 have been removed from mother’s trust by Mr. Shafer for guardian fees over a period of two years.  One bill in particular for 236 emails amounted to $7,777.00.  The majority of Mr. Shafer’s bills are for strange amounts including 8888, 5555 and 9999.  Only Mr. Shafer can explain what he is attempting to tell us with these peculiar billing amounts.
    We have not hired an attorney because the researched we have conducted has shown very few victims have won in court against Mr. Shafer. Mr. Shafer held the position of Clark County Nevada public guardian for approximately 24 years.  Mr. Shafer’s term was filled with lawsuits, investigations and complaints.  For this reason we are afraid that Mr. Shafer will find a legal way to harm my mother. 
    We are delighted Georgia Perry wrote this article exposing the truth about what conservators for hire are doing to our senior citizens.  the truth behind conservatorships or guardianships depending on where you live is now being exposed. 

  • Rebecca

    Thanks, Sue, for your comments. Yes, you’re damn, right, I’m not going to let it go, nor is my father. Jared E. Shafer has gotten away with bullying and threatening families since 1979. He brags to all the victims about controlling and bribing the judges, it’s disgusting. Millions of dollars from victims social security, retirement pensions and veteran benefits have been stolen by him.

    His wards mysteriously die days before their Medicare expires. I don’t believe he has ever worked an honest day in his life, just feeds off of the honest hard work of the elderly.

    He doesn’t even have the college degrees he says he has. Even his attorney, Alan Freer in Las Vegas, couldn’t or wouldn’t provide verification of Shafer’s college degrees when asked by dad’s NV attorney. We have heard his attorneys are promised to be paid hansomely from the ward’s estates, thus enabling them to over bill. Shafer’s attorneys are all parasites just like him.

    Shafer is beyond arrogant and feels Nevada officials will protect him forever but his time is running out to get away with this corruption. Too many outsiders know about his activities and SEVERAL federal agencies have welcomed with open arms documentation of his illegal practices.

    Yes, he has harmed the wrong family this time. You just don’t exploit a WW2 veteran and get away with it. I wonder, did he exploit his own parents, or did they teach him to be an exploiter? He is aging himself, 69 yrs old I believe. Perhaps he will soon need a “guardian” to take care of him? We want to save all the future victims from this virus known as Jared E. Shafer, a major vacine must be developed, and soon.

  • Rob

    No surprise that Jared Shafer and his attorneys didn’t respond to reporter Georgia Perry. Were they going to call her back and say, “Yeah, we’re all crooks who lie, steal, break laws and make livings off of WW2 vets, disabled individuals and other elderly victims”. Don’t think so. Their silence really speaks volumes, that’s for sure.

  • Charles Pascal

    I want to take this opportunity to thank Georgia Perry for her excellent article regarding the horrible guardian abuse of a World War II veteran. 
    My Mother in-law Marcy DuDeck died under the care of Jared Shafer. Interested readers may read the details of her story at: 
    After reading the excellent comments posted on this page I believe a few words should be said about the regulators who through their negligence have become accomplices for the activities they are assigned to regulate. 
    In order to become a guardian in California a candidate must attend 58 hours of “”online”” training and pass a national and state multiple choice exam.  After reading the questions from the national and state guardianship question pools, I found the questions to be as simple as “who is buried in Grant’s tomb”?  In summary anyone can become a guardian, just send two box tops to the National Guardianship Association and pay your dues to the Center for Guardianship Certification and you are considered a guardian in good standing. The center for Guardianship Certification is managed by a lady who is managing approximately 11 non-profit corporations.  She has no budget for enforcement, which allows her members to operate completely out of control.  The elderly who need care suffer for this laissez faire regulatory stance.  Unfortunately guardians manage millions of dollars of estate funds accumulated by seniors who worked hard and followed the rules for their entire lives.  A guardian candidate doesn’t have to have a college degree if he/she worked in a senior care facility for three years.  Guardians have more power in some cases than attorneys, accountants and even some physicians.
    The result of this sloppy system has resulted in the lowest common denominator entering this profession.  A supervisor working for California’s Department of consumer Protection told me off the record it was considered normal for a guardian to live in a trailer.
    This problem has a solution, which is to require guardian’s to hold Masters or PHD Degrees in fields of family therapy, psychology, and social work.  The guardian should be legally licensed and regulated by the state and federal government.  Guardians should attend at least 40 hours per year of continuing education.  The guardians should be able to demonstrate knowledge of family dynamics, stocks, bonds,, real estate, accounting, and legal documents including trusts.  Unfortunately the average guardian understands 10% of the fields mentioned above. This lack of understanding results in horrible treatment for our senior citizens. 
    Regulation will cost money and guardians should pay a fee of at least $2000 per year to be licensed to pay for the enforcement of these regulations.  Interest groups supporting guardianship believe the regulations I’ve proposed are too strict. Powerful interest groups are at the present time profiting from the current climate. 
    Let’s get back to Mr. Shafer for a moment.  Instead of focusing on my problem I conducted a brief Internet search to determine the level of complaints Mr. Shafer has generated as a result of his non-regulated practice.  The list of different sources who have complained about this guardian is astounding to understate the level of frustration experienced by the families who have fallen under the supervision of this guardian.  Please examine the following links. – TEXT/2004/04-01 Shafer opinion.pdf

    What you have seen is a list of complaints filed against only one guardian, Jared E Shafer.  A Government Accounting Office report published in 2011 states guardian abuse is taking place in at least 10 states. 
    Houston, we have a problem.  It is time to demand strict regulation of this profession.


  • Terry Reeder

    I’ve known Lupe (Guadalupe Olvera) for over twenty years and he’s a wonderful man with a wonderful family.  It’s terribly sad when a corrupt, “government-appointed” guardian rips off the elderly, as in this case.  It is especialy shameful when that same goverment agency refuses to police their corrupt appointments.

    Lupe’s estate has been decimated, while the Las Vegas court system looks the other way.

    I am pleased that Lupe was able to “escape” the corrupt “sin city” environment and return to his daughter’s care in the paradise of Santa Cruz County.  Now he is able to enjoy his grandchildren and spend his sunset years where he should:  With his family.  It’s just too bad that his estate was stolen from him along the way…

  • Rebecca

    UPDATE REGARDING THE GRUNSKY FIRM IN WATSONVILLE, SANTA CRUZ PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS, MONTEREY CALIFORNIA FAMILY LAW ATTORNEYS: Tom Dwyer recently wasted our attorney’s time as well as delayed the filing of our conservator orders by insisting on changing terminology of the judge’s orders over a period of several days. Nothing but a waste of time and more efforts to bill my father for nonsense and unnecessary phone calls over one or two words that basically meant the same thing.

  • Mary

    Great article.  Really sheds light on this enormous problem.  Here’s hoping for a swift conclusion to what has been a long and painful road for the Olvera family and for an end to this Shafer’s (Sheister) shenanigans.

  • Charles Pascal

    Update Regarding Guardian Jared Shafer & the Marcy Dudeck Case:

    On August 21, 2012 Professional guardian Jared Shafer’s buffoonery surfaces again. A surprise package arrived at our door addressed to Heidi Pascal. The first thing, which stood out was the package contained no postage. It was left in front of our houseboat. We opened the package and learned it possessed the container to keep Heidi’s Mother’s ashes, which Heidi purchased from the Neptune society in 2007. We opened the container and found a picture of Lance Dudeck, Heidi’s brother, with his arms around his mom Marcy Dudeck. The picture was taken after Mrs. Dudeck was kidnapped against her will and taken to Nevada.

    The only person who could have possibly had possession of this container was guardian Jared Shafer. We found this to be quite humorous because Mr. Shafer in his total incompetence closed our case in 2011. Eight months later he finds the box containing the ashes. He sent Marcy’s ashes to Heidi 8 months ago, minus this box. We laughed at the contents because Mr. Shafer couldn’t even provide an accounting of how he managed our estate. The man must not be able to write because no return address was provided on the package. It takes some education to correctly write one’s return address. Now, after 8 months, he finds the container decides to deliver it, which should have held Marcy’s ashes originally. This is only another example of how important it is to attract a higher caliber of professionals to the profession of fiduciary or guardian. The regulations governing this industry are non-existent, which results in such bazaar behavior by the insane guardians who claim to be in charge of our seniors. Read more about guardian Jared Shafer and Marcy Dudeck’s case at:

  • Joan

    Well how ignorant am I?  I had no idea that this was happening to people!  Mr Olvera has family who love him and are willing to take care of him.  He doesn’t need a ‘guardian’.  Perhaps a class action suit against the baks is needed.

  • Steve Miller


  • Rebecca Schultz

    Update on Guadalupe Olvera:
    After 3 years and 9 months and over $300,000 bled from my father’s estate, we succeeded in not only getting the Nevada guardianship terminated but also terminated the California conservatorship that Jared Shafer forced upon my father as the terms to terminate his control over my father in Nevada. We have accomplished what nobody has ever done, terminated 2 guardianships in 2 states.  Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Paul Marigonda was thrilled to terminate, stating what a pleasure it was to have such a satisfactory outcome. This proves what I had been stating all along, that Nevada should have never taken control of my father and his estate, that my father was competent and that Jared Shafer and his associates acted on the behalf of themselves, not in the best interest of my father. My father’s dignity, civil rights and what is left of estate have been returned to him. Now we must try to repair all the damage done by Jared Shafer and Nevada and seek justice for my father and all the many other victims.

  • John Walsh

    Going through this now with a friend whwer a care facility sought guardianship without family notificatiion and refused any information as to my friends whereabouts

  • Legacy Lawyers

    Conservators can sell or lease their conservatee’s lucrative property to business partners that would benefit his and their own interests. This conservatorship abuse scenario becomes more sinister when their estate was a family property kept for generations and later sold to greedy investors.