In re Matthew C. B., s. 2016-1382

CourtNew York Surrogate Court
Writing for the CourtHON. NELIDA MALAVE-GONZALEZ SURROGATE
Citation2022 NY Slip Op 31691 (U)
PartiesIN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF MATTHEW C. B.
Decision Date17 May 2022
Docket Numbers. 2016-1382,2016-1382/E

2022 NY Slip Op 31691(U)

IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF MATTHEW C. B.

Nos. 2016-1382, 2016-1382/E

Surrogate's Court, Bronx County

May 17, 2022


Unpublished Opinion

Pursuant to SCPA Article 17-A

HON. NELIDA MALAVE-GONZALEZ SURROGATE

In this proceeding pursuant to Article 17-A of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act, the respondent's brother, who was appointed standby guardian of the respondent's person and property pursuant to decree dated November 17, 2016, which determined the respondent to be intellectually disabled, now petitions seeking his elevation as successor guardian of the respondent's property but requests to remain standby guardian of the respondent's person. He also nominates the respondent's sister-in-law as standby guardian of property only. The current guardian of the respondent's person and property, the respondent's mother, consents to the application, executed a resignation of her property appointment only and requests that she remain primary guardian of the respondent's person. Counsel for the petitioner and the guardian ad litem also request approval of their fees and disbursements.

1

Causes of action for the respondent's birth injuries were previously settled by an infant compromise order in the Supreme Court, Bronx County (McGee, J.) that, inter alia, directed the payment of up-front proceeds and funding of an annuity that was to pay substantial staggered distributions and lifetime benefits. However, the mother never reported the annuity payments and distributions as guardianship assets to this court. The omission only came to the court's attention after the mother filed a petition seeking to establish a supplemental needs trust for the respondent's benefit into which the other reported guardianship funds were to be placed. The court then appointed a guardian ad litem who conducted extensive investigation and restrained all of the guardianship accounts and the annuity payments and filed a proceeding seeking to suspend the mother's letters of property guardianship and served demands for document production from the mother concerning all of the guardianship funds collected by her, including the annuity payments, as well as all of the expenses paid for the ward's benefit. She was unable to do so. The respondent's brother then provided certain documentation concerning the annuity payments and disbursements paid during the course of the guardianship and represented that, should he be appointed successor property guardian, that he would expeditiously state an account on the mother's behalf. It is uncontroverted that the respondent has significant medical issues, requires specialized round the clock custodial care, and that the mother, who is devoted to his well being and appropriately addresses his physical needs, cannot fulfill her

2

guardianship record keeping responsibilities.

On this state of the record, including the testimony of the petitioner and the recommendation of the guardian ad litem, and that it appears to be in the best interests of the respondent, the court is satisfied that the mother and the petitioner remain qualified to serve as guardian and standby guardian of his person, and that the petitioner and the nominated successor standby property guardian are each qualified to assume the responsibility of serving as the respondent's property guardians, the application is granted. Accordingly, the respondent's brother, Clarence B., is appointed successor primary guardian of his property and is to remain standby guardian of his person to serve when the primary guardian of the person is unable to do so. The...

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