It would make sense for a person to get paid for legal guardianship, considering the significant responsibilities that are involved when one is appointed as a guardian. The answer, however, may not be that simple and may depend on the type of guardianship, the state you are in, whether or not the ward has money to pay, and your relationship to the ward.
In New York, Section 81.28(a) of the Mental Hygiene Law provides that “the court shall establish, and may from time to time modify, a plan for the reasonable compensation of the guardian or guardians. The plan for compensation of such guardian must take into account the specific authority of the guardian or guardians to provide for the personal needs and/or property management for the incapacitated person, and the services provided to the incapacitated person by such guardian.”
Because guardianship can be required for a number of different reasons, there are several types of guardianships. An example is if the parents of a minor child would pass away leaving the latter with no person to take care of him or her. Another instance would be if an adult would unexpectedly be incapacitated that would prevent him or her from making life decisions for himself or herself.
There are several kinds of guardianship and each one would have its own duties and obligations.
In addition, each guardianship can have different aspects. One aspect is a guardianship of the person which is when a guardian would make important decisions for a ward. The other aspect is guardianship of the property which is where a guardian would be responsible for decisions involving a ward’s money, properties, or investments, as may be directed by a judge. They are often combined to form a guardianship of the person and property, wherein a guardian would be responsible for a ward’s life decisions as well as his or her properties or assets.
There’s the guardian ad litem which is assigned by a Judge to act for a person during an ongoing case in court when a person cannot defend his or her rights or protect his or her personal interests. This is not a guardianship per se, more of an attorney who is assigned to protect the rights of someone who cannot hire an attorney on their own.
In the State of New York, guardianship case are handled by the Family Court, the Supreme Court or the Surrogate’s Court. The type of guardianship being asked and the type of ward involved in a particular guardianship case would determine which court will be handling it.
Being appointed by the court as a legal guardian certainly comes with a lot of responsibilities. That is why a lot of people are asking do you get paid for legal guardianship? The answer to that can be complicated.
While the said provision of the law does not spell out exactly how much you would get paid for a guardianship, it does provide some factors that are considered in determining what a reasonable compensation would be for a guardian. The same provision states that the plan for the guardian to get paid “must take into account the specific authority of the guardian or guardians to provide for the personal needs and/or property management for the incapacitated person, and the services provided to the incapacitated person by such guardian.”
In some cases, courts can take into consideration the statutory commission provisions for Trustees, Executors and Administrators contained in the New York Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act in addition to the factors mentioned by Section 81.28(a), as well in calculating how you would get paid for legal guardianship. An example of this is Section 2307 of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act which provides for a schedule in awarding Executor’s and Administrator’s Commissions.
While a person may be entitled to get paid for a guardianship as determined by the Court, the latter also has the power to modify or, in some instances, even deny payment to the guardian. This may happen if the Court determines that the guardian failed to satisfactorily exercise his or her fiduciary duties arising out of the legal guardianship.
Courts have held that a guardian owes a fiduciary duty of loyalty to his or her ward and any breach of this duty on the part of the latter shall not entitle him or her to get paid. This means that a guardian cannot simply expect to get paid as determined by the Court if he or she does not adequately perform his or her duties as a guardian. An example of when the court may deny a person’s request to get paid for a guardianship is when the latter fails to preserve his or her ward’s assets which is a clear breach of the guardian’s fiduciary duties.
Being a legal guardian may be challenging but it does come with its benefits. Not only would you be entitled to get paid as determined by the Court, you would more importantly be able to help out someone who needs guidance and protection in their lives.
Legal guardianship is one concept that not a lot of people are familiar with. It is something that many would encounter in one aspect or another at some point in time, however. That is why it is important to learn everything there is about legal guardianship, especially if you or someone you know may be appointed as a legal guardian in the near future.
In a nutshell, guardianship is a legal arrangement wherein a court grants a person the legal right to make decisions for another person, commonly known as the “ward”, who is otherwise not able to make decisions for themselves. These persons may be a child, an incapacitated adult, or someone who has a developmental disability. Developmental disabilities may take the form of physical disability such as blindness or cerebral palsy. It may also include intellectual disabilities such as Down syndrome or autism.
Whether you get paid for legal guardianship would depend on your particular situation.