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Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. is an adult guardianship and estate litigation attorney in New York City.  He is admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey.

In a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 adult guardianship proceeding, most Courts require motions to settle a guardian’s final report or final account be made by Order to Show Cause. The same can be said for interim motions in adult guardianship proceedings.

In Nassau County Supreme Court, however, motions to settle a final account must be made by notice of motion. This is a “principal exception” to the general rule in Nassau County that most motions in adult guardianship proceedings be made by Order to Show Cause, or “OSC”.Continue Reading Nassau County Motions to Settle Final Report of Guardian Must be Made by Notice of Motion

In a New York Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 guardianship proceeding, courts strongly prefer appointing family members as guardian of the incapacitated person. However, there are exceptions.

When  family members fight to be appointed guardian, are acrimonious, or can’t get along, courts often hesitate to appoint any family member as guardian, even if otherwise qualified.

This article explores how judges decide who to appoint as guardian when the incapacitated person’s family can’t get along. Continue Reading Family fighting makes it hard, but not impossible, to be appointed guardian

Article 81 guardians are often given broad powers over an Incapacitated Person’s life. One of the more challenging decisions many guardians face is deciding where their ward should live. 

Is the current living situation suitable? Should the Incapacitated Person live at home? A nursing home? 

Making the decision itself is just one piece of the puzzle. An article 81 guardian in New York must first consult the Order and Judgment appointing them guardian to ensure they have the power to decide where their ward lives, or in legal parlance, “choose the place of abode”. Guardians often need to go back to court to get a judge’s approval to move their ward to a new living environment.  This procedure is called making an interim motion.Continue Reading ‘Choosing the Place of Abode’: The Power to Determine Where an Incapacitated Person Lives

The Coalition to Assist Limited Capacity New Yorkers will present a three-part series of webinar panel discussions on navigating the ethical challenges that arise in the practice of Mental Hygiene Article 81 guardianship cases.

The first webinar, which will focus on the petition and hearing, will take place on September 30, 2021 at 5:00pmEST.
Continue Reading Webinar to Explore Ethical Considerations in Petitioning for an Article 81 Guardian in New York

If you’ve been appointed a guardian or conservator in a state other than New York, but are seeking to exercise your powers as guardian in New York State, you’ll need to register various papers in New York first (unless you petition anew). Otherwise, you won’t have the legal authority to exercise your powers as guardian in the Empire State. 

I’m a big fan of checklists. This step-by-step guide makes the process easier.Continue Reading How to Register an Out-of-State Guardianship in New York

Two United States Senators last week called on the heads of two federal agencies to provide data and information on adult guardianship and conservatorships, as the media directs national attention to the controversial conservatorship of pop superstar Britney Spears.

In an open letter to Xavier Becerra, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the U.S. Department of Justice, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) gave the Secretary and A.G. until July 14, 2021 to provide information on data systems in place for officials at the agencies to access information regarding:Continue Reading U.S. Senators Draw Attention to Lack of Guardianship Data as Britney Spears Conservatorship Controversy Gains National Attention

When commencing an adult guardianship proceeding in New York pursuant to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law (“MHL”), the key document to be filed with the court is the petition. This document is essentially a detailed, formal, written request to have a guardian appointed. 

In this blog post, I discuss drafting the petition in an MHL Article 81 guardianship proceeding, legal requirements, and best practices. Continue Reading Drafting Article 81 Petitions: The Checklist Approach

The New York County Clerk’s Office is now, for the most part, closed on Wednesdays. But not necessarily for guardianship attorneys.  I recently attempted  (successfully) to have my court runner file an interim motion in an Article 81 proceeding in New York County on a Wednesday. It can be done!

Per the New York County Clerk’s website:  “All NYCC in-person transactions are postponed on Wednesdays until further notice except in the case of an emergency which is defined herein as: Guardianship and Mental Hygiene emergency applications.  . . .” This means you can file your application for an appointment of a guardian on a Wednesday. But leave your dog bite pleadings at home.

Moreover, I learned that the New York County Clerk at 60 Centre Street is open on Wednesdays to accept Orders to Show Cause in existing guardianship matters in Room 160 (Chief Cashier) next to Room 158 (Guardianship & Fiduciary Support Office), but not Room 141B (the Cashier which issues index numbers).Continue Reading New York County Clerk Now Closed on Wednesdays With Exceptions for Guardianship Cases