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Guardian- Duties of Guardian

If you have been appointed as Guardian of an incapacitated person under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, the duties of guardian are generally the following.

  • a guardian shall exercise only those powers that the guardian is authorized to exercise by court order;
  • a guardian shall exercise the utmost care and diligence when acting on behalf of the incapacitated person;
  • a guardian shall exhibit the utmost degree of trust, loyalty and fidelity in relation to the incapacitated person;
  • a guardian shall file an initial and annual reports …;
  • a guardian shall visit the incapacitated person not less than four times a year or more frequently as specified in the court order;
  • a guardian who is given authority with respect to property management for the incapacitated person shall:
    • afford the incapacitated person the greatest amount of independence and self-determination with respect to property management in light of that person’s functional level, understanding and appreciation of his or her functional limitations, and personal wishes, preferences and desires with regard to managing the activities of daily living;
    • preserve, protect, and account for such property and financial resources faithfully;
    • determine whether the incapacitated person has executed a will, determine the location of any will, and the appropriate persons to be notified in the event of the death of the incapacitated person and, in the event of the death of the incapacitated person, notify those persons;
    • use the property and financial resources and income available therefrom to maintain and support the incapacitated person, and to maintain and support those persons dependent upon the incapacitated person;
    • at the termination of the appointment, deliver such property to the person legally entitled to it;
    • file with the recording officer of the county wherein the incapacitated person is possessed of real property, an acknowledged statement to be recorded and indexed under the name of the incapacitated person identifying the real property possessed by the incapacitated person, and the tax map numbers of the property, and stating the date of adjudication of incapacity of the person regarding property management, and the name, address, and telephone number of the guardian and the guardian’s surety; and
    • perform all other duties required by law.
  • a guardian who is given authority relating to the personal needs of the incapacitated person shall afford the incapacitated person the greatest amount of independence and self-determination with respect to personal needs in light of that person’s functional level, understanding and appreciation of that person’s functional limitations, and personal wishes, preferences and desires with regard to managing the activities of daily living. i

To be continued….

Aaron E. Futterman, CPA, Esq. is a partner in the law firm of Futterman & Lanza, LLP with offices in Smithtown, NY and clients throughout Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Richmond, New York, Westchester and Rockland Counties. He concentrates his practice to Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Medicaid Applications, Estate Planning, Probate, Estate Taxes, and Estate Administration.

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