Was the Late Comedian Louie Anderson a Victim of Elder Abuse?

By: Nick Leydorf
estate planning and elder law attorney
Meet Nick Leydorf
My practice is dedicated to helping families get their affairs in order so that they can stay out of court and out of conflict. I’ve experienced first-hand how a lack of planning can have a terrible impact on a family. One morning, my wife received a phone call that her mother had been found unconscious in her bathroom and had been rushed to a local hospital. We panicked and drove to Grand Rapids as fast as we could to be with her. For two weeks, she never regained consciousness and she passed away. My wife and I were devastated.
Louie Anderson was a victim of “elder abuse”, his family claims in legal documents.

Comedian Louie Anderson, who died in January this year aged 68, suffered at the hands of people close to him, according to a petition filed by his sister Lisa Anderson, who has submitted a motion seeking to keep them from getting their hands on assets from his estate.

MSN’s recent article entitled “Louie Anderson was a victim of 'elder abuse', says his sister” reports that in the documents, she requested the judge to exclude a late amendment in his will that added some friends and family members to the list of people who would get some of Louie’s cash.

In the files, Lisa named Ahmos Hassan and Abraham Geisness, who were Louie's agent and manager respectively, as the respondents in the case. As well as their job titles, Lisa claimed Abraham was also once the comedian’s “lover.”

Lisa claimed that Louie’s obesity resulted in a heart attack and bypass surgery in his final years. In 2013, the ‘Life With Louie’ star was diagnosed with lymphoma and prostate cancer in 2020. Lisa alleges that at the time Louie wanted to have a family reunion in Florida following a show of his. After this event, she said that her brother told her he wanted to travel back to California because he thought that Ahmos was “stealing from him.”

The complaint detailed how in the next few months, Louie’s health got worse to a point where he couldn’t live independently and that many of their family offered to look after him. Lisa said that earlier this year, it became apparent that Louie didn’t have much time left. She received a strange call from a pal saying that her brother had said: “I don’t want Lisa to come out here and I’ll call her when I want her to come out.”

The document also said, “Louie spoke with long hesitations between his words and it appeared like he was being coached to say the words he was uttering. This was strange because earlier, Louie had wanted Lisa to come out and lie next to him on a new bed he wanted to purchase. Throughout his life, Louie and (I) had a special, loving bond and called each other every day, sometimes twice a day.”

In the last few days of his life, Lisa claimed he was admitted to hospital and unable to talk, detailing in the filing “eyes were not closed, but he stared blankly ahead,” adding that he didn’t recognize his sisters.

On January 12, four days before he died on January 16, Louie carried out a “first amendment” to his trust, something that Lisa alleges he was “forced” to do on his “deathbed.” The filing says the will change reduced the gifts his two sisters received and describe what Lisa claims she saw: a group of people—including Abraham and Ahmos—going into his sick room and heard voices yelling and shouting at Louie. They told him to sign some documents,” along with “this is it! You must sign NOW!”

Lisa’s filing requests that the court invalidate the change and make the two men “liable for financial elder abuse,” after she and her sister were removed as “sole beneficiaries” and gave Ahmos and Abrahams 30% of his estate.

Reference: MSN (Sep. 7, 2022) “Louie Anderson was a victim of 'elder abuse', says his sister”

Suggested Key Terms: Elder Law Attorney, Elder Abuse, Financial Abuse, Undue Influence, Will

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