Ending a Guardianship in New York
In New York, courts have the authority to appoint guardians to individuals that have been found to be incapacitated. The types of duties performed by guardians vary depending upon the individual and the extent of authority granted to the guardian by the court, but powers may include:
- Tax planning
- Prevention of financial abuse
- Bill payment
- Medical care arrangements and medical decision-making
- Assistance with activities of daily living
While the types of assistance provided by guardians may vary, there are some duties that all guardians must fulfill by law, including:
- Filing of an initial report
- Filing of an annual report
- Filing of a final report
- Attendance at a guardianship course, unless waived
- Visitation with the incapacitated individual a minimum of 4 times per year
However, at some point, all guardianships end. There are a number of reasons warranting termination of a guardianship in New York, including:
- The incapacitated adult no longer needs a guardian – If an adult who was initially in need of a guardian recovers and no longer needs a guardian, the court may terminate the guardianship.
- The guardian resigns– The court may end a guardianship if the guardian has personal reasons for requesting that it do so.
- The guardian is no longer able to perform his or her duties – A guardianship in New York may be terminated if a guardian becomes incapacitated or is unable to perform his or her duties for any reason.
- The judge removes the guardian for cause – If a guardian fails to successfully comply with his or her required duties or is guilty of misconduct, the court has the discretion to remove the guardian and appoint a new guardian.
- Death of the incapacitated adult – The death of the incapacitated adult ends a guardianship. However, there are a number of steps that must be taken by a guardian following such an event, including:
- Providing the judge with a copy of the incapacitated individual’s death certificate;
- Informing all other relevant parties of the death. Examples of parties who may need to be informed of an incapacitated adult’s death include the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration, and Medicaid;
- Paying allowable outstanding bills for services rendered while the incapacitated adult was still living;
- Preparing a statement of death and providing it to the court examiner and the individual responsible for administering the estate of the deceased;
- Preparing a statement of assets and serving it to the deceased individual’s personal representative or public administrator;
- Preparing a notice of claim and serving it to the deceased individual’s personal representative or public administrator;
- Transferring all property to the deceased individual’s public administrator or personal representative except for any property needed to satisfy known administrative fees and debts; and
- Completing all necessary steps to file a final account.
New York Legal Representation
If you need assistance with terminating a guardianship, or if a loved one is currently suffering from mental or physical impairment, please contact the experienced New York elder law attorneys at O’Connell and Aronowitz for a consultation.