Acting as guardian is time-consuming work that involves many hours in court, working on documents and helping the ward. Hence, guardian commissions. New York law allows for compensation for those who are acting as guardian so that they are reimbursed for the time that they spend on a guardianship matter.
The laws behind guardian commissions are somewhat opaque. New York statute allows for “reasonable compensation” of a guardian who is appointed by the court. This gives the courts a lot of leeway when it comes to how much a guardian can earn, meaning that compensation can vary vastly from case to case. In some cases, the courts may attempt to use the pay structure similar to commissions for a trustee or even commissions for an executor of an estate. However, these pay structures may not fit every case.
For those guardianship matters that are especially complicated, the courts may award a bigger compensation to the guardian. An example of this would be if a guardian has to spend more time than would be considered standard dealing with a guardianship because the person subject to the guardianship requires a greater amount of care. In instances such as that, the court would be more likely to award greater compensation to the guardian because of the extra effort that needs to be put into their duties.
On the flip side of this would be the court awarding less than the standard amount that would be given to a trustee or administrator when it comes to a guardian that is not doing his or her duty. If guardian has only minimal contact with the person they owe a duty to, or are neglecting their duties entirely, it is much more likely that the court would find that it would not be considered equitable to award much for that guardian’s work, if the court even awards a commission at all. Not fulfilling the fiduciary duties that are required of a guardian could create real issues for that guardian when it becomes time to be awarded his or her commission.
It is strongly recommended for anyone who feels they need to become a guardian over a friend or loved on that they contact a New York guardianship attorney to deal with their petition and work on the legal matters that come with the guardianship, such as petitioning the court for compensation for acting as guardian.