Thursday, July 27, 2017

Open remarks to Senator Setzler

Update 8/5/2017 - Leave it to a jerk like Setzler to publicly wring his hands after he and his cohorts set the stage for the nuclear power plant scandal involving SCANA and Santee Cooper. This article offers an apt summary:
"It was the same state Legislature that set the stage for the project in 2007 by passing a law that allowed investor-owned utilities like SCE&G to charge their customers as the large nuclear plants were being built rather than after they were completed."
Setzler was a co-sponsor (see 8th paragraph) of this ridiculous law. Just one more SC racket via legislators. This article offers another apt summary: "...the power monopoly in the Statehouse is entirely to blame for the catastrophic cost."  No future charges for the never-to-be-completed boondoggle? We want our money BACK, and we want it back NOW, "Senator." 
Note: The link to the previous article re Setzler's role in the scandal became inoperative. I noticed the problem on 8/23, and linked to another article. Both links became inoperative. Do a Google search to verity Setzler's high profile role in this scandal. On 9/20, I published a few more comments on the nuclear power scandal.
_________________________________________________________________________________

Congratulations, "Senator."

For the 2017 legislative session, you succeeded in keeping mainstream media quiet regarding South Carolina's probate racket. thereby making sure that your bill never made it out of committee.

I'll reiterate something from what I previously wrote:

I'd like to know how Senator Setzler thinks it makes someone feel to have their affairs placed on hold - a kind of legalized extortion - unless they hand over thousands of dollars in attorney fees and participate in establishing a false public record that disrespects their deceased loved one. 

A country that forces people into such an untenable predicament deserves no one's allegiance. The fact that it was done so secretively adds insult to injury.

"Senator," where did you learn such cowardice? Were you brought up to do dirt to people behind their backs? Or is it that somewhere along the way you realized that Americans will tolerate anything a corrupt government dishes out and you just couldn't resist exploiting the situation for your own selfish interests?

You're no public servant, "Senator." You never have been. Blinded by greed and political ambition, people like you are incapable of grasping the concept of public service. You're just another politician, more adept than most when it comes to feeding at the public trough.

People like you make a mockery of the electoral system. Anyone with normal sensibilities would be ashamed of themselves.

You must feel right at home when working with clods like Kenny Bingham and Emma Dean as you protect the financial interests of probate-dealing law firms like your own. In the absence of a free press, it's a special pleasure to protest South Carolina's attorney-instigated probate racket in front of the law firm of Williams, Stitely, and Brink.

"Senator," at least quit trying to con people into thinking the public has an interest in placing time limits on wills. Your repulsive charade fools nobody, and word is spreading about South Carolina's probate racket.

By the way, "Senator," are you a Lutheran or a Baptist? Your profile says Lutheran, but attendance-wise you seem attracted to the Baptist denomination. That must politically fortunate given the fact that among church-going South Carolinians, the Baptist denomination is far more popular than the Lutheran denomination. This survey revealed that a whoppin' 22.6% consider themselves Baptist, whereas only 1.3%. consider themselves Lutheran.

As for me, I'll keep fighting the good fight. It has to do with confronting tyranny, exposing injustice, and standing up for what's right. It's another one of those things that people like you will never understand.

Meanwhile...

Keep warming those pews, "Senator," regardless of the denomination you prefer to associate with. There's nothing like church attendance to confirm a devotion to the Golden Rule.

Update 8/30/2017 - Protested for two hours front of the Statehouse. BEST RESPONSE YET AT THAT LOCATION, PUSHING TOTAL BLOG VISITS WELL OVER 9,000. A million thanks to all who signaled support and visited this blog. A WIS-10 "news" person once again saw my sign and didn't stop to inquire. If there's anything WIS loves to censor, it's any mention of SC's probate racket.

Updates 8/1/2017 - 
>  Sent a link to this post to all members of the South Carolina Senate and House.
>  Protested two hours in front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm beginning around 2PM. Another GREAT response - MANY thanks to all who signaled support and/or visited this blog. A WIS-TV "news" crew stopped in front of me at a traffic light, censoring coverage of the probate racket.

Update 7/31/2017 - Protested for two hours front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm in downtown Lexington, beginning around 12:30. FANTASTIC response from motorists - another BIG round of thanks to all who signaled support and/or visited this blog. Wunna the best responses yet. And...
After i exposed some of the dirty tricks I've encountered on the Internet (see 7/29 update, also posted on Facebook), things were back to normal today.

Update 7/29/2017 - Apparently, someone has hired a reputation management firm to play dirty tricks with my email and social media accounts. This morning, I'm blocked from sending out blog links on Twitter, and other strange things have been happening as well. It began with the weird Mailer-Deamon I wrote about when I tried to reply to an email I received from Senator Setzler's sidekick, Alisa Painter. See the last paragraph on my post "Senator Setzler's bill is an insult to South Carolinians." 

Update 7/28/2017 - Tweeted links to "Ambassador" Nikki Haley and Governor McMaster.

Update 7/27/2017 - Such a pleasure to send Senator Nikki and his sidekick, Alisa Painter, a link to this post.




Updates 8/1/2017 - 
>  Sent a link to this post to all members of the South Carolina Senate and House.
>  Protested two hours in front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm beginning around 2PM. Another GREAT response - MANY thanks to all who signaled support and/or visited this blog. A WIS-TV "news" crew stopped in front of me at a traffic light, censoring coverage of the probate racket.

Update 8/8/2017 - Sent a link to this post to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Update 8/11/2017 - Sent a link to this post to the House Judiciary Committee.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Senator Setzler's bill is an insult to South Carolinians

"The idea is the public should know who is paying their part-time legislators so they can judge whether their pay from other sources presents any potential conflicts." - 1/9/2017 article re corruption in the SC legislature.

Wednesday a week ago (3/29/2017), there musta been quite a ruckus going on behind the scenes while I was protesting in front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm. They are not happy with my presence, and afterwards, when I checked my emails, there was word from Senator Setzler' office manager, Alisa Painter, that Setzler had introduced a bill and wanted me to have a copy of it.

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article125436854.html#storylink=cpyThere musta been quite a ruckus going on behind the scenes last Wednesday while I was protesting in front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm in downtown Lexington. The firm is not happy with my presence, and afterwards, when I checked my emails, there was word from Senator Setzler's office manager that he had introduced a bill and wanted me to have a copy of it.

What a "coincidence." And what an insult Setzler's bill is to the people of South Carolina. Talk about gall...

SENATOR SETZLER HAS HAD OVER 30 YEARS TO TAKE ACTION TO SIMPLIFY THE PROBATE PROCESS IN THE INTEREST OF FOLKS WHO HAVE LOST LOVED ONES. 

Now - in the face of negative public exposure and with the current legislative session more than half over - he suddenly introduces a watered-down bill (See S. 589) (word for word, the exact same hogwash as Kenny Bingham's bill last year) to give probate courts authority to decide when to apply the 10 year limit on wills. Fact is, there's no excuse for having time limits on wills. Many other states don't have time limits, South Carolina didn't prior to 1986, and I replied accordingly to Setzler's office manager, urging an overall simplification in the probate process.

In 1986, what was Senator Setzler's role in adding those attorney-serving complexities to the probate code, and did he make any efforts to notify the taxpaying public of what was going on? In 1986, his probate-dealing law firm - established in 1977, the first year he served as a senator - had been in business for 10 years, which brings up another "coincidence" in Tricky Nikki's sudden decision to introduce his current "probate bill."

This year, for the first time ever, South Carolina lawmakers had to disclose private sources of income. Tricky Nikki introduced his watered-down probate bill just one day before he was exposed in this article revealing lawmakers' private sources of income. It's now a matter of public record: Senator Setzler derives private income from his probate-dealing law firm, and it's anyone's guess how much money the good ol' boy has stashed away over the past three decades due to those attorney-serving complexities added to the probate code.

Why hasn't local mainstream media investigated Tricky Nikki's decades-long conflict of interest? How fortunate for "lawmakers" like Setzler that the required disclosure of sources of private income was postponed until after the election.

I suppose probate-attorney Setzler somehow "forgot" to send out press releases regarding his current bill, an effort which is no doubt destined to quietly die - as did Bingham's bill - in Committee. Even if it passed, a deadline was crossed last week, and Setzler's watered-down bill could not become law until 2018.

Who does Senator Setzler think he's fooling with this probate bill? Tricky Nikki epitomizes the conflicts of interest that have made governments unresponsive to people's needs. It's way past time for the legislative gang to quit exploiting the probate process for the personal gain of probate attorneys in general, and probate-dealing attorney-legislators in particular.

On 3/29/2017, when I replied to Alisa Painter's email, I got a weirdly-worded (apparently fake) Mailer-Daemon message, which led me to think Ms. Painter's email wasn't authentic. Had I not taken time to investigate, I wouldn't have been aware of Senator Setzler's bill, just like I wasn't aware of Kenny Bingham's bill (see 6/3/2016 update) last year until after it had been submitted for over a week. I tried to forward my original reply to Ms. Painter, but it wasn't clear if she received that either. On 4/2/2017, I tried a third time, and on 4/4/2017, I received confirmation from Ms. Painter that she had received my reply and would make Senator Setzler aware of it. As was the case last year, it looks like someone is intent on keeping things quiet regarding time limits on wills. 

What YOU can do:

>  Spread the word about the probate/trust racket. Most folks don't find out about the attorney-generated horrors of probate until they are struggling through the bereavement process, and shock value is a key part of the effort to browbeat people into hiring a probate attorney.

>  If you need help with non-probate matters, avoid using attorneys who advertise that they specialize in probate. Many attorneys refuse to get involved in the probate racket, and one of them told me with a wink, "It's a 'highly specialized' area of law."

>  Refuse to be bullied by the attorney-generated horrors of probate into paying attorneys to set up trusts. Probate is financed with tax dollars, and should be an inexpensive, viable alternative to setting up trusts. Executors (now called Personal Representatives) shouldn't need a law degree to probate an inheritance.

>  Cut costs by downloading your own estate documents - especially wills - from the Internet. Paying probate attorneys outlandish fees to "draw up a will" is risky business, because attorney-legislators have a vested interest in nullifying wills.

>  Last - and what certainly shouldn't be least (but probably is) - send "your representatives" an email expressing your sentiments about the probate/trust racket.

6/13/2017 update - protested for an hour, downtown Lexington, front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink law firm  THANKS AGAIN to the many motorists who signaled support. I've heard no more - didn't expect to - regarding Senator Setzler's bill. Apparently, the bill never made it out of committee.

5/19/2017 update - protested front of the State House for an hour. Here's another round of thanks to everyone who shows support and visits this blog. WIS-10 "news" drove by again - depend on 'em to keep quiet about the probate racket.

5/16/2017 update - another hour of protest in front of the State House, another GREAT response even with relatively light traffic. MANY THANKS to all who expressed support and visited this blog.

5/11/2017 update - protested for one hour in front of the State House. Light traffic but still a SUPERB response from motorists. MANY THANKS to all those who signaled support and took photos.

5/3/2017 update - protested the probate racket for 3 hours in front of the Williams, Stitely, and Brink law firm. MANY shows of support (they seem to be increasing), and total blog visits have now topped 7,000. A MILLION THANKS TO ALL. WIS-10 drove by and again ignored an issue that should have made headlines years ago.

4/29/2017 update - Is anyone surprised that a jerk like Setzler favors a gas tax? What a sick joke when the senator - a conniving, career politician with a conflict of interest regarding probate laws - has the unmitigated gall to blabber that "he was elected by the people to do what he thinks is right." Wonder if "the people" would have elected Tricky Nikki if "news" organizations like WIS-10 hadn't covered up his decades-long conflict of interest. Here's an honest look at the gas tax issue.

4/26/2017 update - protested in front of my "favorite" law firm - Williams, Stitely, and Brink - for 3.5 hrs. New time frame gimme an even BETTER response than I've come to expect. MANY thanks to the MANY motorists who signaled support and took photos.

4/20/2017 update - Protested in front of the Williams, Stitely, and Brink law firm for 2 hrs - another round of SUPER encouragement from motorists. MANY THANKS to all who signaled support. If you know someone in another county who's fed up with SC's probate racket, send 'em a link to this blog.

4/17/2017 update - Protested for 2 hrs,  front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm. Another great response from motorists - a million thanks to all. Mainstream media is trying to keep news of SC's probate racket quiet. Please spread the word about what's going on. 

4/15/2017 update - Tricky Nikki, aka Senator Setzler, has again gone silent re substantial efforts to clean up South Carolina's probate racket.

4/13/2017 update - MANY THANKS to everyone who's helping to expose what's going on.

4/12/2017 updates - 
>  Protested 2 hrs, front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm. THANKS EVER SO MUCH TO THE MANY MOTORISTS who signaled support. Wunna WIS-10's vehicles passed by, kept right on going. South Carolina's "News Leader" is an expert at filtering out the news people need to know.  
>  Tweeted a link to this post to Gov. McMaster.

4/10/2017 updates - 
>  Protested in front of Williams, Stitely, and Brink's law firm for 3 hours. SUPER response from motorists, MANY THANKS to all who signaled support. BLOG VISITS CONTINUE TO INCREASE. SPREAD THE WORD - IT'S WORKING. 
>  My pleasure to send Senator Setzler a link to this post via Twitter, Alisa Painter, and SC Legislature Online.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Probate-dealing law firm doesn't like where I stand

See 3/31 and 3/29 updates below.

One of downtown Lexington's high falutin, probate-dealin' law firms - Williams, Stitely, and Brink - is not happy about a victim of the probate racket standing in front of their building directing folks to this blog. Some of them came out (dressed fit to kill, I might add), and Mr. Williams kindly informed me (never in a million years had I realized) that I was "standing in front of a law firm." It seems his wife - and by extension Mr. Williams himself - were unhappy about my presence, and never mind my first amendment rights or the fact that I'm not touching their property. Mr. Williams thought it would be better if I protested in front of the South Carolina Statehouse (better for me, 'cause "you can't change anything here in Lexington"), or that I should at least move back to my former location across the street, where I would be "nearer to the probate court." He absurdly mentioned the word "ripoff" being on one side my sign (it's presented as part of this blog's address), admitted that they handled probate cases, but emphasized that they didn't "rip anyone off." I wuz glad to hear that.

Watchin' 'em squirm was reminiscent of that movie about the lawyer who was suddenly bewitched by honesty and had to tell the truth. "Liar Liar," starring Jim Carrey, is one of the best films ever.

I chose the new location for best exposure, but told 'em I thought their law firm provided a nice backdrop for my efforts. I suggested they call Senator Setzler and tell him to clean up the probate racket and reply to my email. But alas. They didn't think Tricky Nikki wuz gonna "do anything." In other words, all they can figure out to do regarding the probate racket is to rake in profits. They never evidenced any concern for the plight of folks who had lost loved ones being treated like dirt, or the fleecing of inheritances. This blog - which Mr. Williams claimed to have visited - was "interesting," which of course is a nice, non-committal way of putting it from folks who are satisfied with the status quo.

Here's the deal:

Victims of the probate racket are supposed to forever tuck their tails. They're to keep their heads bowed (lest they make eye contact with an overlord like Senator Setzler), keep their mouths shut, hand over a chunk of their inheritance when told to, and tolerate any kind of disrespect South Carolina's corrupt power structure sees fit to hurl at a racket victim's deceased loved ones. Downright dirty shame that a lowly racket victim would have the audacity to stand in front of a prestigious, probate-dealing law firm's building and publicly object to such treatment after being stonewalled by the legislative gang (racket victims should be able to take a hint), and while mainstream media big shots like WIS-10 do their best to keep the probate racket quiet.

Quick, someone: Think of a way to persuade that pesky racket victim not to protest in front of our law firm. Racket victims aren't supposed to come around unless they're ready to hand over a portion of their inheritance.

I wish Tricky Nikki's law firm was more conspicuous, more "out in the open" so to speak, faced a road with a higher traffic count, and vehicles didn't pass by the joint quite so fast. Don't get me wrong: Senator Setzler's firm - the guy is one callous, conniving little jerk if ever there was - is quite suitable for picketing. But for my primary intents and purposes, protesting the probate racket in front of Williams, Stitley, and Brink's firm is the hands down better choice, and they might wanna look at it this way: They're performing a charitable service by preventing other probate-dealing law firms from being bothered by an uncooperative racket victim.

Who knows? Maybe Williams, Stitely, and Brink can even come up with a tax deduction.

What YOU can do:

>  Spread the word about the probate/trust racket. Most folks don't find out about the attorney-generated horrors of probate until they are struggling through the bereavement process, and shock value is a key part of the effort to browbeat people into hiring a probate attorney.

>  If you need help with non-probate matters, avoid using attorneys who advertise that they specialize in probate. Many attorneys refuse to get involved in the probate racket, and one of them told me with a wink, "It's a 'highly specialized' area of law."

>  Refuse to be bullied by the attorney-generated horrors of probate into paying attorneys to set up trusts. Probate is financed with tax dollars, and should be an inexpensive, viable alternative to setting up trusts. Executors (now called Personal Representatives) shouldn't need a law degree to probate an inheritance.

>  Cut costs by downloading your own estate documents - especially wills - from the Internet. Paying probate attorneys outlandish fees to "draw up a will" is risky business, because attorney-legislators have a vested interest in nullifying wills.

>  Last - and what certainly shouldn't be least (but probably is) - send "your representatives" an email expressing your sentiments about the probate/trust racket.

3/31/2017 update -  3/30/2017 article exposes Senator Setzler as "Public officials report private sources of income for 1st time." CONFLICT OF INTEREST when attorney-legislators support laws that help to provide private 

3/29/2017 updates - 
>  Protested in front of Williams, Stitley, Brink for 5 hours. GREAT encouragement from motorists, a million thanks to the many who signaled support. BLOG VISITS HAVE SOARED.
>  Senator Setzler introduced a bill (See S. 589) similar to the one introduced last year by Kenny Bingham. It's another watered-down effort at reform, probably destined to die in committee. The objective isn't to introduce bills, the objective is to simplify the probate process, and ELIMINATE time limits on wills. I was notified of Senator Setzler's bill by someone in his office, and replied accordingly. Where is mainstream media? Why isn't the public being informed of what's going on? This update was delayed because I took time to confirm the authenticity of the notification I received. 

3/27/2017 updates -
>  Sent Senator Setzler a link to this post via SC Legislature Online and Twitter.
>  Tweeted a link to Governor McMaster as Twitter.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Time limit on wills creates false public record, insults the living and the dead

Talk about treating the bereaved like dirt.

One of the worst parts of putting time limits on wills is requiring victims of the senseless scam to participate in establishing a public record that is nothing short of a boldfaced lie about their deceased loved one. The public record makes it appear that the loved one left no will. It's embarrassing, insulting, and shows that self-serving attorney-legislators couldn't care less about the bereaved.

I'd like to know how Senator Setzler thinks it makes someone feel to have their affairs placed on hold - a kind of legalized extortion - unless they hand over thousands of dollars in attorney fees and participate in establishing a false public record that disrespects their deceased loved one. Perhaps the"senator" is too busy making bank deposits to lend a helping hand to victims of South Carolina's probate racket.

The very idea of a gang of greedy, attorney-legislators sneaking around behind people's backs and nullifying wills while a complicit mainstream media keeps things quiet. Anyone who would be a party to such connivery is a shameless coward, devoid of conscience. Same goes for all the other idiotic complexities quietly added to the probate code.

It was a hoot when the attorney I spoke with in Senator Setzler's law firm came up with an open-ended fee - $1,500 plus $275 per hour - to address my mother's "deemed intestacy." I shudder to think what the final number of hours would be as a perfectly viable will is cast aside and a probate attorney starts wading through the slew of complexities to perform a Determination of Heirs. Somehow, I don't think an attorney with an open-ended fee agreement would be in much of a hurry to get any of the ridiculous requirements completed. Those complexities added to the probate code in 1986 have no doubt served Senator Setzler quite well, while his constituents have been betrayed.

No wonder probate-attorney Setzler would rather not talk about the probate racket. After the brief, self-serving blabber he came up with as a reply to the email I sent him last year, Senator Setzler has now clammed up entirely about the probate racket. This year, he won't even so much as acknowledge receipt of my email suggesting he introduce a bill similar to the one introduced last year by House "Ethics" Chairman Kenny Bingham. Who does Senator Setzler think he's supposed to represent, and who does he think pays his salary? Of course, I realize that the salary - $10,400 per year plus per diem - is pocket-change for career politicians like probate-attorney Setzler. But even so...

Public Accountant Setzler needs to account for his questionable behavior over the past 30 years, including how much money his law firm - founded in 1977, the same year he first won his senate seat - has made from inheritance-related cases. Really, folks: What kind of "representative" refuses to reply to an e-mail from a constituent?

I'll send Senator Setzler a link to this post - taxpayers are due an explanation regarding his lack of interest in simplifying probate.

What YOU can do:

>  Spread the word about the probate/trust racket. Most folks don't find out about the attorney-generated horrors of probate until they are struggling through the bereavement process, and shock value is a key part of the effort to browbeat people into hiring a probate attorney.

>  If you need help with non-probate matters, avoid using attorneys who advertise that they specialize in probate. Many attorneys refuse to get involved in the probate racket, and one of them told me with a wink, "It's a 'highly specialized' area of law."

>  Refuse to be bullied by the attorney-generated horrors of probate into paying attorneys to set up trusts. Probate is financed with tax dollars, and should be an inexpensive, viable alternative to setting up trusts. Executors (now called Personal Representatives) shouldn't need a law degree to probate an inheritance.

>  Cut costs by downloading your own estate documents - especially wills - from the Internet. Paying probate attorneys outlandish fees to "draw up a will" is risky business, because attorney-legislators have a vested interest in nullifying wills.

>  Last - and what certainly shouldn't be least (but probably is) - send "your representatives" an email expressing your sentiments about the probate/trust racket.

3/24/2017 - Picketed 2 hrs this afternoon in front of that probate-dealing law firm (they ain't happy with my choice of location, but that's another story) across from Lexington Probate Court. GREAT response, thanks to all. Signals of support and blog visits are WAY up.

3/17/2017 update - Picketed over 2 hours today cater-cornered from Lexington Probate Court (best exposure, and the probate-dealing law firm I'm in front of provides a perfect backdrop). The encouragement from motorists and pedestrians was PHENOMENAL. BLOG VISITS ARE WAY UP, A MILLION THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED. Law firms that have advertised probate-related services at any time over the past 30 yrs should be ashamed of themselves.

3/16/2017 update - picketed at Lexington Probate Court (cater-cornered across the street) for 30 mins. GREAT RESPONSE - THANKS FOR VISITING THIS BLOG. Also sent a link to this post to Gov. McMaster via Twitter. 

3/15/2017 update - My pleasure to send Tricky Nikki Setzler a link to this post via South Carolina Legislature Online and via Twitter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Senator Setzler can run, but he can't hide

You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

Last year, I sent an email to the senator asking what he had done to simplify probate requirements, and I encouraged him to support Kenny Bingham's bill. After two weeks without a reply, I published a blog post, sent the senator a link to it, published the link on Twitter and Facebook, and made two appearances in front of the senator's law firm directing people to this blog. Almost immediately thereafter, I received the reply from Senator Setzler stating that he was "inclined to support Representative Bingham's bill."

Nice try at making it appear that you would like to help your constituents, Senator, but it was late in the 2016 legislative session, odds were overwhelmingly strong that Bingham's bill would never make it out of committee, and "Ethics" Chairman Bingham had announced his intention to retire. Bingham's bill was, as I noted in an update, too little too late, and of course Senator Setzler ignored those pesky questions I asked him in my blog post.

By the time Senator Setzler got around to replying to my email, the legislative gang's attitude toward victims of South Carolina's probate/trust racket had been underscored by the repulsive charade put on by "Ethics" Chairman Bingham and attorney Emma Dean of the House Judiciary Committee. Only the profoundest of clods would pull such a stunt.

The main interest in Bingham's bill seemed to be in making sure the bill was kept as quiet as possible.

This year, I decided to see just how sincere probate-attorney Setzler actually is about simplifying the probate code, and on 1/30/17 - over three weeks ago - I sent him an e-mail suggesting that he introduce a bill similar to Kenny Bingham's for the current legislative session. And wouldn't ya know it, just like last year, I have yet to find any replies from the senator.

Point is, nobody should have to prompt Senator Setzler to initiate efforts to clean up South Carolina's probate/trust racket. The senator - a career politician for 40 years - probably had a hand in initiating those attorney-serving complexities to the probate code, but regardless of his role at the time, Senator Setzler has had over 30 years to take action on behalf of the bereaved. I wonder if the senator ever saw fit to inform his constituents that the probate code had been turned into a money-making scheme for attorneys. It was a hoot the way the attorney I spoke with in Senator Setzler's law firm intimated that the 1986 revision to the probate code was done on behalf of the taxpaying public. Silence is indeed golden for the probate/trust racket.

Attorney-legislators must be dancing in the aisles now that the governorship has gone to one of their own. The state's new governor - Henry McMaster - is another career politician and former Attorney General who's already been embroiled in a scandal and who somehow forgot to mention the state's probate/trust racket in the much ballyhooed video he made upon taking office.

I understand this entire situation quite well, Senator Setzler. There you are a well-entrenched, career politician, and here I am, just a lowly constituent.


What YOU can do:

>  Spread the word about the probate/trust racket. Most folks don't find out about the attorney-generated horrors of probate until they are struggling through the bereavement process, and shock value is a key part of the effort to browbeat people into hiring a probate attorney.

>  If you need help with non-probate matters, avoid using attorneys who advertise that they specialize in probate. Many attorneys refuse to get involved in the probate racket, and one of them told me with a wink, "It's a 'highly specialized' area of law."

>  Refuse to be bullied by the attorney-generated horrors of probate into paying attorneys to set up trusts. Probate is financed with tax dollars, and should be an inexpensive, viable alternative to setting up trusts. Executors (now called Personal Representatives) shouldn't need a law degree to probate an inheritance.

>  Cut costs by downloading your own estate documents - especially wills - from the Internet. Paying probate attorneys outlandish fees to "draw up a will" is risky business, because attorney-legislators have a vested interest in nullifying wills.

>  Last - and what certainly shouldn't be least (but probably is) - send "your representatives" an e-mail expressing your sentiments about the probate/trust racket.

3/14/2017 update: Interest in South Carolina's probate racket is increasing, and Senator Setzler's kind would never be elected if "news" organizations like WIS-10 did their job and informed the public about pertinent issues. Not a word from the "senator" re my 1/30/2017 e-mail.

3/10/2017 update: Twitter is blocking numerous tweets re Senator Setzler and the probate racket from appearing on my profile page, which tends to reduce the number of re-tweets. Please spread the word about Senator Setzler and the probate racket.

3/9/2017 update: Picketed across the street from Lexington County Probate Court for about 2 hrs starting around 12:30. FANTASTIC RESPONSE - THANKS A MILLION to everyone who signaled support. If you were one of quite a few that took a photo, it would be GREAT if you posted it on the Internet.

2/27/2017 update: Probate-attorney Setzler sure has gotten quiet about simplifying probate. How come, Tricky Nikki? The attorney I spoke with in your law firm certainly wasn't bashful about coming up with an exorbitant, open-ended fee ($1,500 up front plus $275 an hour) for services that never should have been required in the first place regarding my mother's will.

2/25/2017 update: Bicycling home yesterday, Sen. Setzler's law firm was on the way. Jus' COULDN'T RESIST standing in front of the joint for 15 mins protesting the probate racket.

2/24/2017 update: Another round of protesting in front of the State House as Senator Setzler clams up. MANY THANKS to all who signaled support and visited this blog. Today it was an ABC WOLO, "news" crew that drove by but declined to investigate. Never mind that their studio is directly across the street from the State House  Special interests have taken control of mainstream media. 

2/23/2017 update: Still no reply from Senator Setzler, and today I stood in front of the SC State House - where the senator is probably holed up - with a sign directing folks to this blog. Many thanks to all who signaled support, and it was a hoot watching an NBC WIS-10 "news" crew nonchalantly drive by, apparently knowing better than to investigate and submit a story.

2/21/2017 update: My pleasure to e-mail a link to this post to Senator Setzler and (via Twitter) to Governor McMaster.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

An "ambassador" who treats the bereaved like dirt?

Update 9/10/2017 - "Consider the idiot Nikki Haley ... This stupid person ... Does the imbecile Nikki Haley ..." - Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (under Reagan) Dr. Paul Craig Roberts in his recent article, "Laughing on the Way to Armageddon"

I received a tweet from a probate-reform activist in Texas after I tweeted that it's my pleasure to confront America's probate racket, pointing out that the bereaved are treated like dirt. @ReneeinTx tweeted back, "TY!! you do understand, how they have disgracefully disrespected the soul of my husband and me. bless you from my heart."

I understand quite well, and Renee and I have lots of company all across the land. My case features an insulting effort to make it appear - wrongly and publicly - that my mother left no will. Prior to the time limit being placed on wills, my mother paid an attorney to have a will drawn up, her wishes are clearly stated, and that will should be honored. Anything short of that is a scam, and I cannot in good conscience be silent about it.

Members of the probate/trust gang - headquartered in the South Carolina legislature - are some of the absolute lowest forms of life in the universe. Their ghoulish counterparts rob graves under cover of darkness.

From the gang's point of view, the more shattered their victims are, the better for the gang's bank accounts. These sorry excuses for humans smugly assume that they'll never be confronted by those they torment and fleece. Their entire racket depends on bullying their victims into submission.

Is it easier to cooperate with a gang of thugs than to confront injustice? Bereaved victims who choose to cooperate apparently hope - in a kind of pitiful desperation - that the process of bereavement will be lessened if they quietly submit to the indignities, the insults, and the unwarranted costs hurled at them by "their" elected representatives. The probate/trust gang plies its disgusting trade quite well, self-assured that its already-wounded victims wouldn't dare to confront a perverse, well-entrenched power structure such as theirs.

It adds insult to injury that President-elect Trump picked South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for - of all things - an ambassador. He favors a governor who - by her appalling silence - treats the bereaved like dirt. When I tweeted Trump and Haley "An ambassador who treats the bereaved like dirt?" my activist friend in Texas fired off a tweet to Haley that epitomizes the justifiable anger of victims of the probate/trust racket: "@nikkihaley how about rectifying your bad deeds in probate before you climb the ladder? Disgraceful!" followed by a link to this blog. Trump's choice certainly doesn't bode well for efforts to clean up the probate racket.

America has become a sleazy little rat-hole of corruption, deceit, and dishonesty. A place where corporate crookedness holds sway in every aspect of society. We no longer have rule of law or a free press, and regulatory agencies protect not the public, but those entities they are charged with regulating. In my open remarks to Senator Setzler, I asked a number of questions which the senator sidestepped when he replied to my e-mails. Senator Setzler and his cohort attorney-legislators should have to disclose the amount of income their law firms made from inheritance-related matters. As for the probate/trust racket in general, the former attorney I heard from offered an apt summary: "...attempts to steal the proceeds of estates has been a national disgrace for a long time."

Time limits on wills needs to be eliminated, not reformed, and the state's probate process needs to be simplified. Let's help the bereaved heal instead of trying to rip them off.

What YOU can do:

>  Spread the word about the probate/trust racket. Most folks don't find out about the attorney-generated horrors of probate until they are struggling through the bereavement process, and shock value is a key part of the effort to browbeat people into hiring a probate attorney.

>  If you need help with non-probate matters, avoid using attorneys who advertise that they specialize in probate. Many attorneys refuse to get involved in the probate racket, and one of them told me with a wink, "It's a 'highly specialized' area of law."

>  Refuse to be bullied by the attorney-generated horrors of probate into paying attorneys to set up trusts. Probate is financed with tax dollars, and should be an inexpensive, viable alternative to setting up trusts. Executors (now called Personal Representatives) shouldn't need a law degree to probate an inheritance.

>  Cut costs by downloading your own estate documents - especially wills - from the Internet. Paying probate attorneys outlandish fees to "draw up a will" is risky business, because attorney-legislators have a vested interest in nullifying wills.

>  Last - and what certainly shouldn't be least (but probably is) - send "your representatives" an e-mail expressing your sentiments about the probate/trust racket.

Update 1/25/2017 - Somehow, I doubt that ATTORNEY - and now governor - Henry McMaster is gonna do anything to end South Carolina's probate racket. Sent the new governor a tweet - with a link to this poet - encouraging him to change the legislature's policy of treating the bereaved like dirt.
Update 1/19/2017 - Lately I've been standing in front of Senator Setzler's law firm with a sign directing folks to this blog, and this afternoon I also stood in front of Lexington County Probate Court. MANY THANKS to everyone who signaled support. Iinterest in the issue seems to be increasing.

Update 1/19/2017 - Lately I've been standing in front of Senator Setzler's law firm with a sign directing folks to this blog, and this afternoon I also stood in front of Lexington County Probate Court. MANY THANKS to everyone who signaled support. Iinterest in the issue seems to be increasing.

Update 1/18/2017 - My pleasure to tweet Governor Haley and President-elect Trump a link to this post.