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Mickey Rooney's conservator acts on long-time star's behalf

There are certainly instances when a person can no longer take sufficient care of his or her health, assets and/or income, and when estate planning tools such as powers of attorney, trusts and other tools do not exist to provide clarification and guidance. At such a time, a trusted third party might step in to act as guardian or conservator and help promote a ward's best interests.

Stories concerning celebrities can sometimes be instructive in such a context, in large part because of their dissemination to a wide audience. A media report concerning the family law matter of a well-known person can often be of interest for far more than the simple tabloid value it holds for some readers. Indeed, it can serve to instruct in a meaningful way and highlight legal concerns and issues.

Such is the case surrounding recent developments concerning celebrated actor Mickey Rooney. Rooney, now 92, was given court protection in 2011 when a Los Angeles Superior Court probate judge named his attorney as his conservator. The action was taken amidst charges that Rooney's stepson and the stepson's wife were financially and verbally abusing the actor, who was essentially powerless over most aspects of his life.

The conservator recently sold Rooney's home, splitting the proceeds between Rooney and his estranged wife, following news that Rooney wanted that outcome and needed to move to a more accommodating residence.

Rooney's conservator claims that the actor's stepson and wife are guilty of elder abuse against Rooney and liable for breach of their fiduciary duty toward him and of financial fraud.

Source: San Marino Tribune, "Mickey Rooney's home approved for sale," March 4, 2013

  • Our attorneys have in-depth and proven experience in helping individuals and families understand and implement guardianships and conservatorships, which can provide for certainty and peace of mind. For more information, please visit our Houston, Texas, Guardianship page.

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