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Guardianship Attorney

elder care attorney medicaidGuardianship, in the State of New York, refers to proceedings to help individuals who are either in declining health, are unable to take care of their personal needs and/or financial needs, or who have been taken advantage of by third parties, fraudsters, friends, neighbors, or other loved ones. The purpose of a guardianship proceeding is to help a senior, a debilitated person or a special person deal with their personal and financial needs and see to it they are not taken advantage of. In cases where there have been inappropriate transfers, violations of powers of attorney, or where the individuals were simply taken advantage of financially, a guardianship proceeding can be utilized to protect the rights of these individuals. Assets taken through fraud, duress, or undue influence can be returned to their rightful owner through legal action.

Expedited Guardianship Proceedings

Sometimes friends, family members and other loved ones find the senior or special person has an emergency situation which requires immediate action. In these cases, expedited proceedings can be brought for the appointment of a guardian either of the person or of the property of this individual.

Two Types of Guardianships

Guardianships for senior citizens are brought under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law. These guardianships are brought in the Supreme Courts of the county where the individual resides.

Guardians for special individuals can also be brought under Article 17(a) of the New York Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. These types of guardianships are brought in the Surrogate’s Court of the county where the individual resides.

Helping Seniors

Helping another who can’t help themselves is an altruistic course of action. Helping a sick individual, infirm individual, or mentally challenged individual protect their assets and their health and well-being requires the skill and attention of dedicated attorneys with experience in these matters. The guardianship lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have more than 100 years of combined experience helping clients with these types of cases. For more than 30 years, our attorneys have helped seniors, special individuals and their families with regard to guardianship proceedings.

elder law attorney on long island Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Elliot and his associate attorneys maintain a sophisticated practice bringing numerous guardianship proceedings each year. He can be reached for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Prosecutor Investigating Reclusive Heiress’s Fortune

Ms. Huguettem Clark owns a 52-acre estate in New Canaan, Connecticut. The estate has been unoccupied for more than twenty years. During this entire period, Ms. Clark has been residing in a hospital. She has been active in the society pages of various newspapers and has made many charitable contributions.

Ms. Clark in now 104 years of age. Investigators have undertaken an investigation with regard to the handling of her multi-million dollar homes and her other assets over the past two decades.

Ms. Clark is the daughter of a United States Senator who built a huge fortune related to his owning copper mines. The Manhattan District Attorney is looking into the circumstances involving Ms. Clark’s assets. It is estimated that Ms. Clark’s fortune is worth $500 million dollars.

Guardianship proceedings were undertaken on behalf of Ms. Clark. At the present time, these proceedings have not been successful.

It is unknown whether Ms. Clark has a will and, if so, who would be the beneficiary. It is also unknown whether she has created a trust for the family to shield her assets from the huge tax implications they would have at the time of her death. In the event that Ms. Clark has a will, it is anticipated that the will is likely to be contested and there will be probate proceedings involving her estate.

Should you have problems regarding guardianship, probate, contested wills and estates, elder care or medicaid, contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

Why Have an Irrevocable Trust?

living-trusts-typesWills, revocable trusts, and irrevocable trusts are all estate planning devices. Revocable trusts are a type of trust that can be changed, modified, or revoked at anytime. This type of trust allows you to change your mind with regard to all aspects of the terms of the trust. These trusts are very flexible.

Uses of a revocable trust:

1. Revocable living trusts avoid probate. The assets in the trust at the time of the death of the individual who made the trust pass directly to the beneficiary. The trust does not have to be probated.

2. It is private document. Wills need to be probated. This opens up the terms of the will to review by a court. Once the will is filed with the courts it becomes a public document and other individuals can obtain copies of the will. An example is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s will in Manhattan. So many people wanted to see it that it was displayed to the public mounted it under plexiglass. The details of your assets and the individuals who receive your assets remain a private matter.

3. It establishes a plan that deals with mental disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease and other mental illnesses that effect seniors. When you place assets in a revocable trust and the person who created the trust becomes disabled, the trustee or alternate trustee supervises the trust and distribution of the assets therein. If you do not have this type of trust or a power of attorney, it becomes necessary for your loved ones or next of kin to bring a guardianship proceeding under article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law to appoint a guardian for you.

Should you have questions regarding revocable trusts contact the trust attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo at 1-800-344-6431 or by email.

What is Guardianship?

guardianshipsGuardianship involves a situation where a court appoints one person (the Guardian) to make decisions regarding personal and financial matters of another individual (the ward). In New York, a Guardian may be appointed under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law by a Supreme Court judge or Article 17A of the Wills, Trusts & Estate Law by a Surrogate Court Judge.

Guardianship proceedings should be brought when there is an individual whose judgment or capacity is impaired or there is a major threat to an individual’s health and welfare. A physician should be consulted to render a medical evaluation of the capabilities of the individual who you seek a Guardianship for.

A Guardian can have two types of authority in the State of New York. He or she can have authority over the person, of the ward. The Guardian can also have authority over the property of ward or both the person and property of the ward.

If a Guardian is appointed to deal with the person of the ward, he or she is responsible for medical treatment. A Guardian appointed to handle the personal finances of the ward must account for of the ward’s income, assets and expenditures to the court that appointed him or her.

For help on guardianships for children under 18 or elderly individuals, you can always e-mail or call our office at 800-344-6431.

Picture courtesy of

Elliot Schlissel Interview on NPR Re Brooke Astor

The Brooke Astor Estate is in the news again. Gerry W. Beyer, of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog, reported that this coming Monday, March 2, the trial against Mrs. Astor’s son Tony, will begin.

It is alleged that while Tony Marshall was guardian for his mother, he swindled millions of dollars from Mrs. Astor, who was suffering from Alzheimers until her death in August, 2007.

Elliot Schlissel, my employer, was consulted by National Public Radio for the program, All Things Considered on November, 27, 2007 regarding this matter. He can be heard starting at about minute marker 1:50 in this report on NPR.

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