Judge Nelida Malave-Gonzalez


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An application by the guardian ad litem appointed for Christopher sought to approve the funding of a second amended supplemental needs trust (“SNT”) for Christopher’s benefit pursuant to the terms of two “so ordered” written stipulations entered into with Christopher’s mother and uncle. The New York City Department of Human Resources, which previously provided benefits to Christopher, recommended approval of the application. The mother filed a renunciation of her letters of SNT trusteeship and consented to the application, and the uncle filed an oath and designation as successor SNT trustee. Petitioner also sought to be paid $27,300 for legal services, and asked that the mother be paid $32,680 in reimbursement of the balance of funds that she personally expended for Christopher’s benefit since 2015. The court determined that, although the guardian ad litem performed meritorious services that benefitted the ward and sought a substantially reduced fee of $27,300 reflecting one-half of her customary hourly billing rate, the court cannot overlook the present limited liquid SNT assets and the costs to maintain Christopher. The court, among other things, fixed the legal fees sought by the guardian ad litem.