Law Firm of Daniel J. Reiter, Esq.

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Among the many difficult decisions guardians make for their wards are end-of-life decisions. Guardians often must make a judgment call about their ward’s life, especially if their incapacitated ward is in a hospital or nursing home. If their ward’s preferences and wishes about end-of-life treatment are unknown, the guardian must act in their ward’s “best interests”. In New York, assisted suicide is not an option. Period. Not for guardians. Not for anyone.…
Court evaluators are not parties to a Mental Hygiene Law article 81 guardianship proceeding, and it matters. Court evaluators, known as the “eyes and ears” of the court,  are essential actors in a guardianship proceeding, but they are not a party to the proceeding. Parties to the proceeding include the petitioner and the alleged incapacitated person (AIP). This matters not only in a theoretical sense, but in a practical sense.…
If a petition to appoint a guardian is dismissed in a Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) Article 81 proceeding, the statute on its face permits the court to direct the petitioner to pay the fees of the Court Evaluator and Court-Appointed Counsel to the Alleged Incapacitated Person (AIP). The statute says nothing about the petitioner’s motives. It sets forth no requirement that there be an absence of bad faith before authorizing the court to require petitioner…
Guardianship doesn’t last forever. The Incapacitated Person (IP) could die, regain capacity, or move out of the country, among other reasons. Sometimes, the guardianship doesn’t end, but the guardian needs to resign. When this happens, the guardian must be discharged by the Court. At first, the discharge process may seem complicated or confusing. But, like anything, practice makes perfect. Below is a simple, and general, step-by-step overview of the discharge process in a Mental Hygiene…
There is a common misconception among adult guardianship attorneys, even some of the most experienced, that a PING designation in an Article 81 guardianship proceeding equates to less power for the guardian than an Incapacitated Person (IP) designation. An PING (an abbreviation for a Person in Need of a Guardian) is an Alleged Incapacitated Person (AIP) who consents to the appointment of a guardian. The consent of the AIP takes the place of the finding…