Under New York law, a guardian must be someone who is 18 years of age or older and a legal resident or a U.S. citizen. Most often a guardian is a family member of the incapacitated person. The court may also appoint an unrelated neutral third party to act as guardian when there is no family member available. Since each incapacitated person’s needs are different, a guardian’s responsibilities are tailored to the incapacitated person’s particular needs. A guardian may be appointed as a guardian of the person, property or both. Click here to learn more about New York Guardianship.
The Two Types of New York Guardianships
There are two main types of guardianships recognized in New York- Guardianship under MHL Article 81 and a guardianship under Article 17-A of the Surrogate Court Procedure Act. An Article 81 guardianship is used mostly for elderly persons or persons who have suffered a brain trauma or brain disease, who are mentally or physically incapacitated. An article 17-A guardianship is used for the care of a minor child or a disabled child. The guardian’s responsibilities vary depending on the person’s individual needs and requirements. The court will issue a Guardianship Order setting forth the guardian’s responsibilities.
Responsibilities of a New York Guardian of the Person
As a guardian of the person, you may be responsible for an incapacitated person’s:
• Health, dental, medical needs and decisions regarding nursing and other care
• Day-to-day living needs, including grooming, bathing, feeding and household care, transportation
Responsibilities of a New York Guardian of the Property
As a guardian of the property, you may be responsible for an incapacitated person’s financial needs including:
• Paying of bills
• Collecting of real estate rents
• Buying and selling real estate
• Buying and selling stocks and bonds
• Making repairs
• Running a business
• Filing income tax returns
• Making decisions regarding legal matters while acting as guardian ad litem and working with attorneys handling legal matters involving the incapacitated person
• Obtaining government benefits such as VA, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid or SSI
• Submitting an Accounting to the Court
When establishing a New York guardianship, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a New York probate and estate attorney to represent you in the matter. The attorney is familiar with the New York guardianship laws and can help you with the establishment of a guardianship by preparing and filing the necessary paperwork, representing you at any court hearings and helping with other financial and tax matters.
If you wish to speak to a New York guardianship attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.