Daughter Sues Elder Abuse Investigator Over Father’s Will

A former Medford, OR police detective who specialized in investigating elder abuse has been accused of using her expertise to exploit the dementia of a Portland lawyer before his death last year. The daughter of Victor Calzaretta says in a $4 million lawsuit filed in Portland that she was in line to inherit his estate until Calzaretta married the detective, Sue Campbell, after a brief courtship. Calzaretta changed his will in 2011 to make his wife the executor and sole beneficiary. The lawsuit filed on behalf of Diane Miller of La Center, Wash., says the detective was familiar with the signs of dementia and married Calzaretta — her elder by 13 years — “not because she loved him,” but to get access to his estate. “Campbell’s actions were taken for the improper purpose of financially exploiting an elderly demented man for her own financial benefit,” the lawsuit states. Sue Campbell Calzaretta declined comment by phone Thursday. Her lawyer, Jim Callahan, said his client adamantly denies the allegations, and he spoke no further. Victor Calzaretta, who died at 72, worked as a police officer before switching careers in the early 1980s and, according to lawsuit, amassing an estate worth about $4 million. In July 2003, he made out a will leaving his estate to his second wife, Anita. If she died before Victor Calzaretta, the estate would go to Miller. Anita Calzaretta died in 2004. The lawsuit states Calzaretta began showing signs of dementia in 2008, and it worsened the following year.

Source/more: Morganton (NC) News Herald/AP

David Wingate is an elder law attorney practicing in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The elder law practice consists of Wills, Powers of Attorneys, Trusts, asset protection and Medicaid (Medical Assistance.)

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