New York Guardianship Law Lawyer

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When a person ages, is in an accident or has mental problems they are often unable to properly care for themselves. New York covers this possibility with Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law. The two main sections of this law include Personal Needs Guardian and Property Management Guardian. In addition, there are specific sections regarding Guardianship Accounting and Implementation.

The first document to be prepared and filed with the court is a Guardianship Petition. This petition must be carefully composed to include all information required by the court. This lists the alleged incapacitated person (“AIP”)’s name and circumstances. The petitioner must assert its accuracy and have the document notarized prior to being submitted to the court.

This document must also contain information regarding the AIP’s ability to care for himself or herself, any illness or other limitations, description of debts, obligations, income and assets. In addition, it must list the powers the petitioner is seeking such as managing the AIP’s property and/or attending to their personal needs.

Once the petition is filed, the AIP and all relatives must be notified with a Notice of Guardianship Proceedings. (Section 81.07 of the MHL)

The AIP will be notified of the petition, place and time of the Guardianship hearing and that a Court Evaluator has been appointed. It is the job of this evaluator appointee’s job is to meet with the AIP, investigate other persons connected with the case and be present at all Court proceedings. It is also his job to make recommendations, to the court, regarding the authenticity of the petition.

The court may appoint one guardian to handle all of the AIP’s affairs or may appoint two different ones to handle personal needs or property management. The guardian or guardians must keep meticulous records of all transactions, which can be reviewed at any time.

Personal Needs Guardian Responsibilities to the Incapacitated Person:

• Personal care and welfare

• Living quarters

• Medical care/dental treatment

• Allowing travel

• Permitting to drive

• Care of personal records

Property Management Guardian Responsibilities to the Incapacitated Person

• Manage real estate

• Manage bank and brokerage accounts

• Apply for Incapacitated person’s benefits (i.e. social security)

Pay bills and expenses

The AIP has the right to dispute his or her need of a guardian. In addition, there are often relatives or other interested parties who either do not feel the AIP needs a guardian or want to take on the role themselves.

Guardianship petitions and execution in New York are very complicated. Often, one tiny thing left out can cause a rejection. New York laws regarding guardianship of incapacitated people are very complex.

Therefore, it makes sense that it is in the best interest of the petitioner to seek the services of a lawyer who is experienced in this field. He or she will be able to gather information to present to the court that will solidify your case.

With personal knowledge of the law, and court experience, such a lawyer will also be able to guide you through each step from the original petition to the responsibilities of the appointment. This is especially true when the guardianship is contested and requires a length court session