2017 Nominees Section
Organization: OC Elder Law
What role does your nominee have in senior care and senior care issues?
After serving 12 years as a Navy Diver, Marty studied law and devoted his practice to the areas of Elder Law, Veteran's Law, Wills & Trusts. He holds an advanced law degree in Tax Law as well as a Juris Doctorate in general law. Marty is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and admitted to the US Court of Appeals for Veteran's Claims.
Marty is actively involved in professional leadership in too many ways to mention. In his community, he is a member of the Disabled American Veterans, American Legion Post 142, Fullerton Chamber of Commerce, Fullerton Elks Lodge, Fullerton Rotary Club, Roosters, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, California Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association, Bar Association of the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
Why should this person be nominated
At first glance, Marty Burbank seems to be just like any other elder law attorney. He meets with clients, helps them with their estate planning, and makes sure to fulfill their every need. However, what sets him apart from other attorneys is the extent to which he goes in order to ensure justice for his clients—like the time he heroically intervened for an elderly couple.
One day, he got a call from a CPA who referred him to two clients, who had apparently written a will naming their caregivers, a mother-and-son duo, as the sole beneficiaries of their estate. The CPA thought that this was suspicious, and he realized Marty might be able to help him.
Marty was quick to schedule an appointment with the elderly couple. When he arrived on the scene, there were many things that disturbed him. “The most blatant thing that I will remember about this case was when I noticed one of the caregivers smoking while simultaneously giving my client a breathing treatment,” Marty said. “Right away I knew that something was wrong.”
After removing the caregivers from the room and privately interviewing his clients, Burbank found out that the elderly couple had no idea about the will that the caregivers had previously presented to the CPA. “After spending some time with my clients, I found out they really wanted to leave everything to their daughter, so I gathered information for them to draw up an estate plan.” Marty was then able to get the daughter’s phone number from his clients after the caregivers refused to give it to him.
The client’s daughter lived 800 miles away, but Marty was able to bring her down to Fullerton. “Our plan was to meet at a Starbucks inside a grocery store down the street and call the police,” he explained. “From there, we were going to have the police go over with us to the clients’ house and remove the caregivers.” When he got to the Starbucks early, he ran into a sheriff in the parking lot and explained his predicament to him. As luck would have it, the sheriff was once employed as an investigator for adult protective services and called in reinforcements, shocking the abusive caregivers by appearing at Marty’s clients’ home alongside a full-fledged force of six sheriff deputies and five police cars.
“When my clients’ daughter stepped into their house, she started crying because she saw that the caregivers had sold all of her parents’ furniture, and the house was a mess,” Marty said. Intimidated by the six deputy sheriffs that were staring them down, the two caregivers were quick to leave the scene.
However, the problem was not solved just yet because the clients needed daily treatments that required a professional caregiver and none were available that day. Still working on the problem in his mind,Marty left the scene, feeling the need to go back to Starbucks to grab an ice coffee. “I don’t know why, but at that moment I felt like I needed to go back to Starbucks for some reason,” he said. “I don’t really like Starbucks either.”
As he was waiting in line to buy his coffee, he saw a woman wearing scrubs. “She looked like a nurse so I went up to her to ask for her help,” he explained. “I told her what was going on, and she happened to be the nursing director of a skilled nursing facility.” The nursing director was able to pull some strings, and she found a caregiver that could attend to his clients right away.
The following week, Marty was successfully able to have his clients placed in an assisted living facility. He eventually was able to help them obtain veterans’ benefits in order to pay for their care.
“I think that this case was one in which God had a hand in making sure that everything fell in place,” Marty said. “From the fact that the CPA was able to find an elder law attorney that was willing to make a house call, to the fact that the sheriff had a previous job in adult protective services, to the fact that I was able to bring six deputy sheriffs onto the scene, to the fact I was able to find a nurse at Starbucks, everything fell into place, perfectly.”