Legal Advice and Representation for New York Guardianships

A guardianship is a legal arrangement in which one person is appointed to take care of another person’s affairs. Unless specified otherwise, they generally have the authority to make personal, financial, and healthcare decisions for that person, who is typically a minor or incapacitated adult. Among the many duties that a guardian may be responsible for are:

  • Taking care of the ward’s physical, emotional, and developmental needs
  • Making financial and/or healthcare decisions
  • Making decisions about their ward’s living arrangements

Guardians have a fiduciary duty to always act in the best interests of their wards. The state of New York monitors the guardian’s activities, requiring periodic updates and accountings of the ward’s assets, to ensure  the guardian is fulfilling their responsibilities.

How a Guardianship is Established in New York

One must file a guardianship petition to establish a guardianship. The court conducts a hearing after the petition is filed to consider the case for guardianship. If approved, the court issues letters of guardianship.

Under the Mental Hygiene Law, the guardian is required to file an annual report with the court. Court examiners review these annual reports and accounting information for the judge who is supervising the guardianship case. The judge then reviews the report and, if it is satisfactory, signs an order approving it.

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. has represented many court-appointed guardians in connection with the preparation and filing of their accounting reports and can answer any questions.

Objections to Guardianship Accounting

Persons interested in a guardianship matter have the right to review the accounting and object to issues they believe constitute a breach of fiduciary duty. We have assisted clients in reviewing accountings and filing objections to them. Examples include concerns about:

  • Failure to keep accurate records
  • Questionable claimed or stated expenses
  • Irresponsible investment decisions
  • Misappropriation/misallocation of assets

Each of these matters requires a thorough review of the accounting schedules as well as an understanding of the duties and obligations imposed on the fiduciary. If you have concerns about the way a guardian is managing your loved one’s affairs, we may be able to help.

Do You Have Questions or Concerns About Guardianship?

There are many guardianship issues that could require the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. will work with you to determine the best course of action for your legal concerns. Please contact us online or call 718.276.6656 to schedule your consultation.