Woman wants compensation for caring of deceased man

By Harmon Marks | Oct 20, 2011

MADISON -- A woman claims she is entitled to compensation for taking care of a man prior to his death in May 2009.

When Ermal Kenneth Bell died in May 2009, daughter Jeana Kirk of Hewett was appointed Administratrix of his estate, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 1 by Helen Baldwin.

Another daughter is Pam Meikle of Wichita, Kansas. Baldwin and her attorney Timothy R. Conaway of Madison filed an appeal of last August's order by the Boone County Commission supporting rejection of her claim against Bell's estate by Fiduciary Commissioner Harold H. Madison.

E.K. Bell resided with Baldwin 13 years and required special care the last two years of his life, she detailed in her appeal for compensation for services furnished. Kirk filed objection to the Proof of Claim filed by Baldwin requesting payment for services furnished Bell during his lifetime. She explains she was given $65 per week for room and board, but paid all expenses of the household.

After Bell died, Baldwin's appeal relates, his children immediately began moving his possessions from her home and Kirk "demanded to know where her Dad's money was located." He reportedly didn't believe in banking and kept a substantial amount of money in a box. Pam Meikle found a box of money, Baldwin says, and she saw Meikle write down $94,000 on an envelope when money was counted.

Baldwin says Meikle gave her $10,000.

Baldwin's appeal mentions there was no family relationship with Bell "that gives rise to the presumption that Ms. Baldwin's care of Mr. Bell was for free" She "is entitled to be paid for the reasonable value of the services," her appeal continues.

She seeks $49,925 as total net compensation, praying that Boone Circuit Court reverse the Fiduciary Commissioner's decision.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge William S. Thompson.

Boone Circuit Court case number: 11-C-172

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