What happens to a person’s property once they get too old to care for it or become permanently incapacitated? In the state of New York, said person can grant a close friend or family member guardianship over their property to ensure nothing happens to it.
The process of establishing property guardianship can get complicated; it’s important to have an attorney skilled in all matters of guardianship by your side to ease the situation.
Property Guardianship Powers
A person appointed as guardian of another’s property is expected to manage their assets and income with prudent care. The duties of a property guardian are decided in a court of law and must be followed exactly.
The court will order the guardian of property to perform the following tasks:
- pay bills;
- collect rent;
- make any necessary building repairs;
- handle banking and financial accounts;
- manage a business; and/or
- buy and sell real estate.
A guardian is expected to protect the individual’s property and not engage in financial abuse or fraud. If they are caught doing so, they could face heavy penalties, including jail time.
What a Property Guardian Cannot Do
The guardian of another person’s property is meant to treat these assets as if they were their own. They must practice the utmost care and consideration when dealing with the property.
A property guardian can never:
- mix the money they are meant to guard with their own money;
- transfer the money into their own name;
- borrow any money;
- make bad or risky investments;
- revoke legal documents (like a will or trust) made before they took control of the assets; or
- file income tax returns (or hire anyone else to prepare them) on behalf of the other person unless this responsibility has been specifically given.
Contact Goldweber Epstein LLP Today
If you are thinking about establishing a property guardian for your assets, our firm can help. We will do everything we can to construct a document that protects your best interests.
Call our firm today at (917) 809-7669 or contact us online.