Elder law attorneys may specialize in estate planning, incapacity planning, and end-of-life care for seniors.…
** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on January 3, 2018
A guardian is someone who is appointed to make crucial decisions for another person who can’t make those decisions on their own. This may involve guardianship for minors, an adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities, or an adult who becomes incapacitated by an accident or illness. Because guardianship in New York can be complex, it is best to have the help of estate planning attorneys or elder law attorneys to navigate the process.
One of the most common questions a guardian has when they are appointed by the court is, “when does the guardianship end?”
A Guardian’s Obligations
With a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Guardianship, this is a practical question because the guardian has significant duties that continue until the court says otherwise.
In addition to the guardian’s obligations to the incapacitated person, ongoing duties to the court can include:
- Attending guardianship training courses (unless waived by the court)
- Obtaining and filing a bond (unless waived by the court)
- Filing an initial report and annual reports
- Visitation with the incapacitated person as directed by the court
- Notifying certain individuals of the death of the incapacitated person as directed by the court
- Filing a final report
- Given these continuing obligations, it is important to inform the guardian that all guardianships for minors and guardianships for adults end at some point.
Reasons to Terminate Guardianship
- The incapacitated adult no longer needs a guardian – The court may terminate guardianship for adults if it’s determined they no longer need one.
- The guardian resigns – The court may end guardianship if the guardian requests to resign. This is typically done for personal reasons.
- The guardian is no longer able to perform their duties – The court may terminate the guardian’s position and appoint a new guardian if the initial guardian becomes incapacitated or is unable to perform their duties for any reason.
- The judge removes the guardian for cause – The court can remove a guardian and appoint a new guardian if they fail to comply with their required duties successfully or are guilty of misconduct.
- Death of the incapacitated adult – The death of the incapacitated adult ends a guardianship.
How to Terminate Guardianship after an Incapacitated Person’s Death
- Provide the court with a copy of the incapacitated individual’s death certificate,
- Inform all other relevant parties of the death,
- Pay allowable outstanding bills for services rendered while the incapacitated adult was still living,
- Prepare a statement of death that is to be provided to the court examiner and the individual responsible for administering the estate,
- Prepare a statement of assets, which must be provided to the fiduciary of the estate of the deceased individual or public administrator,
- Prepare a notice of claim and provide it to the fiduciary of the estate of the deceased individual or public administrator,
- Transfer all property (other than what is needed to satisfy known debts and administrative fees) to the fiduciary of the estate of the deceased individual or public administrator,
- File a final account
If you are seeking guardianship for minors or guardianship for adults, it is important to speak with qualified estate planning attorneys or elder law attorneys experienced with guardianship in New York. Our attorneys can evaluate your current situation and help you seek the right type of guardianship.
Please do not hesitate to contact Russo Law Group, P.C, with questions. Benefit from our experience, as well as caring and compassionate staff. You may also take advantage of our free seminars and webinars to learn more about how Russo Law Group, P.C., helps with Medicaid benefits for your parent