New York Guardianship Attorneys

Lawyers in New York Helping Individuals with Legal Needs Related to Guardianship

If you are in New York and are seeking a guardianship, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as you can. At Goldfarb Abrandt & Salzman LLP, we are skilled New York guardianship lawyers who have a comprehensive understanding of the law and know how to get results. To arrange for a consultation with one of our lawyers, contact us online or call our office today at (212) 387-8400.

Guardianship Basics

In New York, guardianship is a legal arrangement in which the court gives a person the authority to make decisions for a person who is unable to make decisions for themselves. Typically, individuals seek guardianships in situations involving minor children, incapacitated adults, or individuals who are developmentally disabled to the extent that they are unable to make decisions for themselves.

The person appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of the other person is referred to as the guardian, and the person for whom the guardian makes decisions is referred to as the ward. In New York, anyone who is a U.S. citizen and over the age of 18 may serve as a guardian, but a court may bar a person with a criminal record from serving as a guardian. Ultimately, the judge presiding over a guardianship case has the final say as to who may serve as a guardian.

Guardianships can be tailored to fit the needs of a particular ward. In New York, there are categories of guardianship, which are as follows:

  • A guardian of the propertyA guardian of the property only is able to make decisions about the wards financial matters and must file a report with the court annually.
  • A guardian of the personA guardian of the person can make decisions about important matters about the wards life, such as decisions regarding housing, education, and healthcare.
  • A guardian of the person and propertyJust as it sounds, this type of guardianship gives the guardian the ability to make life decisions for the ward and make decisions about the wards finances.

There are also other types of guardians such as a guardian ad litem who is a person appointed by a judge to act on behalf of an individual in a court case where an incapacitated person cannot protect his or her own interests.

Each guardianship is different, and the best way to determine which type of guardianship is appropriate in your situation is to speak to an experienced New York guardianship lawyer about your situation in detail. Failing to do so before you start the process could result in weeks or even months passing while the individual in need of the guardianship is not getting the help and guidance he or she needs.

Article 81 Guardianships

An Article 81 guardianship is a specific type of guardianship that people seek in regard to an incapacitated adult or person with a disability that prevents them from managing their financial affairs or property. These guardianships are extremely individualized, and courts specifically define what decisions can be made by the guardian and those that are reserved to the person with the disability. In order to determine the appropriate arrangement, the judge presiding over the case will appoint a court evaluator. The court evaluator will meet with the incapacitated individual and determine whether a guardian should be appointed at all, and if so, the scope of the power the guardian should have. It is highly advisable for those seeking (or opposing) Article 81 guardianships to retain an attorney to represent them.

Article 17-A Guardianships

Article 17-A guardianships are available for people who are developmentally or intellectually disabled. These terms are defined in Article 17-A of the Surrogate Court Procedures Act. Parents often pursue Article 17-A guardianships in cases where a developmentally or intellectually disabled child is about to turn 18 and they would like to retain control over his or her affairs. In order to obtain an Article 17-A guardianship, you must obtain a certification from one physician and one psychologist or two physicians that states that the individual in question has a disability and is unable to manage his or her affairs because of an intellectual disability, developmental disability, or a traumatic head injury.

Do You Need an Attorney to Obtain a Guardianship?

Many people come to us wondering whether they really need to retain an attorney in order to obtain a guardianship over a loved one. While every situation is different, it is highly advisable for anyone seeking a guardianship to do so with the assistance of an experienced lawyer. While the need for guardianship may be clear, there are strict legal standards that must be met before a court takes away a persons rights, and for good reason. As a result, if you are seeking guardianship, you need to be able to convince the court that it is legally necessary to grant one. Some of the things that a lawyer can help in guardianship cases include the following:

  • An attorney can analyze your situation and determine whether a court is likely to grant a guardianship at all
  • Your lawyer can determine which type of guardianship is appropriate in your case, narrowly tailor your petition to the court, and present evidence supporting your position that guardianship is appropriate
  • A lawyer can represent you in court and respond to any challenges regarding your petition
  • An attorney can appeal an adverse decision

Call Goldfarb Abrandt & Salzman LLP Today to Speak with a New York Guardianship Lawyer

If you are seeking guardianship over another person or are challenging a guardianship petition, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. The lawyers of Goldfarb Abrandt & Salzman LLP are committed to protecting the rights of older adults, disabled individuals, and their families and work hard to bring every case we take to a successful resolution. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at (212) 387-8400 or send us an email through our online contact form.