What Happens if Someone is Appointed Guardian of My Property in New York?

Published On: May 17, 2021Categories: Estate Planning

Rockland County adult guardianship lawyerIn New York and throughout the United States, adults typically have the authority and responsibility to manage their own property and finances. However, in some cases, a New York court will appoint a legal guardian to manage another adult’s property. If you are struggling to manage your own finances, the thought of someone else stepping in to take control could be both a relief and a concern. You should be sure to understand your rights in an adult guardianship case, as well as what to expect if a guardian is appointed.

When is a Guardian Appointed for Property Management?

It is important to know that in New York, a guardian of property will not be appointed simply because someone is experiencing financial hardship. If you are struggling with debt or an impending foreclosure, for example, there are many steps you can take on your own with the help of an attorney in order to improve your situation, including pursuing a loan modification or filing for bankruptcy if necessary.

However, if you feel that you are truly incapable of managing your own financial affairs, perhaps because of a mental condition that impairs your understanding or decision-making, you may decide that a guardian of your property would be in your best interest. You have the right to petition the court to appoint a guardian of your choice, or to agree to a petition that someone else puts forth. On the other hand, if you do not agree to the appointment of a guardian, you have the right to hire an attorney and contest the appointment and the judgment of your incapacitation in court.

What Does a Guardian for Property Management Do?

If a guardian is appointed to manage your property, their duties will be determined based on what the court finds necessary to provide for your needs. Depending on the situation, the guardian may be responsible for managing the regular expenses necessary for your care, providing for your dependents, making decisions about buying or selling your property, and managing your savings, investments, and estate plan.

A guardian of your property is required to make decisions in your best interests and prohibited from using your property or assets for their own benefit. In many cases, guardians are granted limited authority rather than total control over property, so you may still be able to provide input and make certain financial decisions on your own. However, once a guardian has been appointed, it can be very difficult for you to regain full control of your financial affairs. Working with an attorney gives you the best chance of protecting your interests once a petition for guardianship has been initiated.

Contact a Rockland County Guardianship Attorney

At the Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C., we can help you understand what is at stake in a guardianship proceeding and provide you with the best possible representation to protect you from abuse. For a free consultation, contact a Hudson Valley area adult guardianship lawyer today at 845-358-7100.