Blog

Breaching Marital Agreements at Death in New York

Seymour and his wife just couldn’t make their marriage work. So in 1957 they entered into a separation agreement. The separation agreement required Seymour in any will he made to treat the estranged couple’s three children equally with any child… Read More
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CLE: ‘Defensive Estate Planning: Avoiding Conflict, Abuse, and Litigation’ on December 3, 2020

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. will be teaching a Continuing Legal Education course on Defensive Estate Planning: Avoiding Conflict, Abuse, and Litigation on December 3, 2020 at 3:30pmEST. The course will be hosted by LawLine and will be streamed live via we… Read More
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Categories: Firm News

CLE: ‘Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity: Ethical Rules and Best Practices’ on October 5, 2020

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. will be co-teaching a Continuing Legal Education course on Representing Clients with Diminished Capacity: Ethical Rules and Best Practices on October 5, 2020 at 12:00pm EST. The course will be hosted by the New York City Bar As… Read More
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CLE: ‘Preparing Discharge Applications in NY Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Proceedings’ on August 27, 2020

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. will be teaching a Continuing Legal Education course on Preparing Discharge Applications in NY Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Proceedings on August 27, 2020 at 3:30pm. The course will be hosted by LawLine and will be streamed li… Read More
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Categories: Firm News, Real Estate

Inheriting Real Estate and Co-ops in New York

Are you about to inherit real estate or a cooperative apartment in New York? If so, you may have questions about ownership of the property, or what is called title. You may wonder: Are you automatically the owner of a house, condo, or co-op when some… Read More
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Categories: Real Estate

CLE: ‘Administering Real Property in a Decedent’s Estate in New York’ on July 28, 2020

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. will be teaching a Continuing Legal Education course on Administering Real Property in a Decedent’s Estate in New York on July 28, 2020 at 3:30pm. The course will be hosted by LawLine and will be streamed live via webcast. Yo… Read More
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Categories: Firm News, Real Estate

Who Can Object to a Will?

If you’ve been left out of a will, you may have rights. Certain people are allowed to contest, or object, to a will’s validity, per New York law. “Probate” is the process of proving to a court that a will is valid. In New York, the universe o… Read More
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Categories: Estate Litigation

Daniel J. Reiter publishes article in One on One

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. was recently published in One on One, a publication of the New York State Bar Association’s General Practice Section. The article, entitled Defensive Estate Planning with Powers of Attorney: How to Avoid Mayhem, Chaos and Uni… Read More
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How Joint Bank Accounts Work, And How Sometimes, They Don’t

Joint bank accounts make great estate planning tools, except when they don’t. Whether a joint bank account is right for you depends on on a lot of factors. Joint bank accounts make perfect sense for some people. They can cause family infighting and… Read More
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Categories: Estate Litigation

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. Invited to Speak to Surrogate’s Court Interns

On July 1, 2019, Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. was invited to speak with college students and law students interning at the Richmond County Surrogate’s Court. Mr. Reiter, who interned at the same court as a law student, spoke with interns about law school… Read More
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Categories: Firm News

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Frequently Asked Questions

If I petition to have a guardian appointed in a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 proceeding, will I have to serve as guardian?

No. Even if you are the “petitioner” – the person who is asking the judge to appoint a guardian – you can ask the judge to appoint someone else. If there are no family or friends willing and able to serve, the judge can appoint a non-profit organization or “independent” professional guardian to serve.

My disabled child is about to turn 18. Am I automatically able to make decisions for them when they turn 18?

No (except for limited exceptions). In New York, parents are the natural guardians of their children until age 18. However, once a child reaches 18, even if they are developmentally or intellectually disabled, a parent cannot automatically make decisions for their adult child. Guardianship is often necessary for developmentally and intellectually disabled adults who do not have capacity to manage their own affairs without assistance.

If I am appointed guardian, can I force my ward to take psychiatric medication?

Although most guardians are authorized to make routine and non-routine medical decisions on behalf of their ward, the administration of psychiatric medication to a person who objects requires special authorization from a judge, even if you were already appointed guardian.

How long does it take to get a guardian appointed and authorized to act in a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 proceeding?

There is no set time. However, from the time counsel is retained, it usually takes about 2-4 months total for the guardian to begin acting. However, if a guardian is needed immediately, the judge can appoint a “temporary guardian” while everything gets sorted out. This speeds up the process.

What is the difference between a guardian and a conservator?

Generally, none. New York used to use the terms conservator (today’s version of guardian of the property) and committee (today’s version of guardian of the person). Many states still use the term conservator, but the concept is the same.

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What Our Clients Say

“Daniel Reiter is an honest attorney. He handled my brother’s estate with professionalism, diligence, and sensitivity. … I would recommend him highly!”
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“Daniel is extremely thorough, very easy to deal with, he invests time to make sure that the issues are understood and clear.”
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