An Article 81 Guardian appointed to safeguard the person and property of an incapacitated person may need to deal with an assortment of issues. Similar responsibilities are given to the Executors and Administrators of an estate.
In particular, the property interests of both an incapacitated person and a decedent’s estate may involve an apartment where the person was residing. When a person dies, if the apartment was not owned in nature of a co-op or condominium unit, the estate fiduciary must arrange to obtain access to the apartment. The need for access can include securing valuable articles of tangible personal property, locating asset information such as tax returns, bank account statements and brokerage and retirement fund information. Additionally, the apartment will need to be cleaned out at some point and returned to the possession of the landlord. Of course, if there are other family members living in the apartment who refuse to leave or provide access or who have claims to continue to occupy the premises in the nature of succession rights, then the fiduciary must grapple with these issues. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published numerous articles concerning problems in obtaining possession of a decedent’s real property.
The Guardian for an incapacitated person may face similar issues particularly if the ward is now residing in a nursing home or other location. An issue may arise as to whether the incapacitated person intends to return to the community to live in the apartment. A landlord may want the ward evicted, particularly if the apartment is rent regulated.