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In re Maher

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division
207 A.D.2d 133 (1994)


Facts

Francis Maher suffered a stroke, which left him partially paralyzed and severely limited in his ability to speak and write. Maher’s son (plaintiff) petitioned the court to appoint a guardian for Maher (defendant), and the court appointed a temporary receiver for Maher’s assets. Maher executed a power of attorney naming his son as his attorney-in-fact. The temporary receiver later informed the court that Maher had improved dramatically, and Maher and his guardian ad litem requested that the petition for guardianship be dismissed. Maher’s son continued to pursue the guardianship, arguing that Maher was confused an irrational. Maher revoked the power of attorney in favor of his son and executed a new power of attorney in favor of his attorney. At the hearing on the petition for guardianship, several witnesses testified that Maher was able to understand what he was told and to make his wishes known without speaking. The lower court held that Maher’s son had not met his burden of proving that Maher was incapacitated and that a guardian was necessary to manage Maher’s property and financial affairs, and dismissed the petition for guardianship. Maher’s son appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Friedmann, J.)

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