NEW YORK, NY – On January 17, 2023, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, founder of Elder Dignity, discussed predatory guardianships and estate trafficking on Black Enterprise’s Beyond The Hype with Alfred Edmond as part of National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month. This vicious crime, which involves stealing estates and people using guardianships laws, is rising in communities of color. Watch the interview:
Kennedy explained, “Estate trafficking is fraudulently liquidating or assuming control of an estate often using probate, trust and/or guardianship laws. It is constructive fraud — intentionally lying or misrepresenting facts to the court in order to gain financially from the estate.” She pointed out that “it is weaponizing the law to steal” and is “perpetrated primarily by those in the legal system who know the flaws in the laws and know the players — the judges, other attorneys, guardians, etc.” The scary thing is that this scheme is “enabled and protected by the court itself.”
Kennedy has spoken widely on the issue of guardianship reform, such as at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in D.C., the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, the Florida Guardianship Improvement Taskforce, the Progressive Forum and the Coalition of 100 Black Women. She has served as moderator for the Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship (AAAPG) Summit, the #FreeBritney Symposium, and has been an advisor for the #FreePeterMax campaign. She has shared views on guardianships for ABC Action News (FL), WCTV (FL), Sky News, TS Radio Network, and Real Clear Investigations. In addition, she wrote “Is Elder Guardianship a New Form of Human Trafficking?” for The Huffington Post (2016), and produced the social impact video, The Deception of Protection (2019).