William, a 68 year old man of great wealth, resides alone in a cooperative apartment located in Riverdale, New York. William recently took a fall and was admitted to Bronx Lawrence Hospital. Liam, William’s personal attorney arranged for William to receive medical care at Sunnyside Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Pelham Bay. William’s distrusted and estranged relative, George filed a petition in Bronx Supreme Court alleging that William is incapacitated and should be transferred to Hebrew Hillside Nursing Home in Tarrytown, NY to satisfy his religious needs and to place him closer to George. William insists that George is solely focused on gain and green to acquire his assets before he passes.
Liam is William’s attorney in the guardianship proceeding. William objects to the appointment of a guardian and possible transfer to Hebrew Hillside.
Suzanne, the Court Evaluator expressed some concerns to the parties that Liam could possibly be serving under a conflict of interest as William’s attorney. Suzanne’s sparse court evaluator report recommended the appointment of a guardian for William and did not consider William’s wishes and functional limitations.
A hearing was held and the Court did not appoint an attorney for William. The Court held that Greedy Gain George should serve as William’s guardian for the rest of his life and provided George with the authority to transfer William to Hebrew Hillside.
What should William do? William should speak to an attorney immediately to explore his legal rights. Pursuant to Mental Hygiene Law § 81.10 (c) the appointment of counsel is mandatory in cases where an Alleged Incapacitated Person, such as William was unrepresented in the guardianship proceeding, objected to the appointment of a guardian, and objected to the transfer to Hebrew Hillside.
Additionally, the Court did not appoint an attorney for William, his right to counsel was denied, and Suzanne’s Court Evaluator Report failed to address William’s wishes and William’s appreciation of his limitations. These issues, alone, are sufficient grounds for an appeal and possible reversal of the Court’s decision.
To learn more about the steps you need to take to protect your loved one’s rights in an Article 81 guardianship case, contact the Law Office of Tamara I. Jordan P.L.L.C.
The Law Office of Tamara I. Jordan P.L.L.C. handles Article 81 guardianship cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.