How Does Guardianship Work in New York?

guardianship new york ny

Families are faced with challenging situations over the course of a lifetime. In some cases, a loved one cannot make decisions for him- or herself and requires an appointed guardian. To ensure their personal and financial matters are handled properly, the state of New York allows the appointment of a guardian for minors and disabled individuals. If you are considering becoming a guardian in New York, please continue reading, then contact an experienced Putnam County guardianship attorney today.

How do you set up a guardianship in New York?

Someone who needs assistance to care for him- or herself or manage their property or financial affairs is considered an Incapacitated Person (IP). Under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, you may bring this kind of guardianship before the Supreme Court or County Court. The court will individualize the guardianship and specify what decisions the guardian may make and which decisions the person with the disability may make. The judge will appoint a court evaluator who, as the eyes and ears of the court, will:

  • Meet with the possible incapacitated individual
  • Investigate and report whether or not the court should appoint a guardian, and, if so
  • What powers the guardian should have

The court will always hold a hearing and you would be well advised to retain the services of a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney who is skilled in guardian cases.

What types of guardianships are available in New York?

Depending on the individual and their situation, the court may appoint one of several types of guardians, including:

  • Guardian of the person: Can make life decisions for the ward, such as health care, education and welfare
  • Guardian of the property: Handles decisions about the ward’s money, investments and savings, directed by a judge.
  • Guardian of the person and property: Responsible for both the ward’s life decisions and property.
  • Guardian ad litem: Assigned by a judge to act for a person during a court case when they can’t defend their right or protect their own interests.

How do you apply for a guardianship in New York?

Considering that you are asking to be given the legal right to make binding decisions for another person, you, as the applicant, are stating that your loved one does not have the cognitive or communicative capacity to make decisions for themselves and/or are unable to give informed consent for personal, medical or financial affairs. Courts tend to rule toward the least intrusive means. To become a guardian, you must demonstrate in pleadings that less intrusive means were attempted but failed to provide adequate resources to provide for the physical and financial well-being of the proposed ward.

Reach out to our firm to discuss your matter in detail.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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