In re D.K.L., 2022-22101

CourtNew York Surrogate Court
Writing for the CourtMichael G. Hayes, J.
PartiesIn the Matter of the Guardianship of D.K.L. (B.L.), An Infant Under Age 14.
Docket Number2022-22101,File 2022-167
Decision Date08 April 2022

In the Matter of the Guardianship of D.K.L. (B.L.), An Infant Under Age 14.

No. 2022-22101

File No. 2022-167

Surrogate's Court, Dutchess County

April 8, 2022

Michael G. Hayes, J.

By Decree dated February 24, 2022, this Court appointed B.L. and S.A. as the guardians of the property of their infant daughter, D.K.L. The Court granted this application pursuant to Article 17 of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act.

SCPA §1708[2] states that the Court may dispense with the filing of a bond when appointing a property guardian, subject to four conditions: (1) the Court must direct the guardian "to collect and receive the moneys and other property of the infant as directed by court order"; (2) any moneys collected must be "deposited in the name of the guardian" in a bank that has been designated by court order; (3) any moneys deposited in the guardianship account must not exceed the maximum insurable amount; and (4) no moneys deposited in the guardianship account shall be withdrawn or removed without an Order of the Court.

The February 24, 2022 Decree dispensed with the requirement of a bond, and imposed the mandatory SCPA §1708 conditions. The Decree also designated an authorized bank to jointly hold D.K.L.'s property ("the Bank"), and ordered the guardians to file annual accountings pursuant to SCPA §1719. Upon entry of the Decree, the Surrogate's Court Chief Clerk issued Letters of Guardianship of the Property to B.L. and S.A.

The infant's property includes an inheritance from her paternal grandmother, C.W., who died on August 11, 2021. That inheritance consists of a 100% interest in an annuity account managed by a life insurance company ("LIC").

The guardians have advised the Court that LIC has delivered a check paying over the full balance of the annuity account. However, the check has been made payable to B.L. as "Custodian of minor D.K.L.," rather than in his capacity as guardian.

The guardians have informed the Court that the Bank will not negotiate the check because of the incorrect "custodian" designation. The guardians have also advised the Court that the Bank will only accept a check for deposit in the court-mandated guardianship account if it is made payable to B.L. "as guardian of D.K.L."

Under New York law, there are a number of ways that a transfer can be made to a minor. One option is to "pay it to the guardian of the child's property, who then must comply with the rather onerous requirements for investing and accounting required by SCPA...

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