How Can I Establish Guardianship of an Adult in New York?

Published On: March 28, 2022Categories: Estate Planning

Hudson Valley Area Adult Guardianship AttorneyThere are a variety of situations where family members may be concerned that a person is unable to fully meet their own needs. This may be an issue that a family will need to address when a loved one reaches an advanced age, or a person may be unable to care for themselves due to a serious injury or illness or a physical or intellectual disability. In these cases, another person may wish to establish guardianship for their loved one. When doing so, it is important to understand the procedures that will need to be followed and the requirements that will apply for a legal guardian.

When Is Adult Guardianship Appropriate?

A person may agree to have someone appointed as their legal guardian, or a family member or other party may file a petition in court asking to be appointed as the guardian of a person who is incapacitated. A person may be considered to be incapacitated if they are likely to suffer harm due to their inability to provide for their own personal needs and manage their property and finances, and they do not have the capacity to fully understand their lack of ability and the consequences that they may face because of these issues.

Guardianship Petitions and Hearings

A petition to establish guardianship may be filed by multiple parties, including the person who is allegedly incapacitated, a person’s presumptive heirs, someone who lives in the same household as a person, or others who are concerned with a person’s welfare. A petition must include identifying information about the allegedly incapacitated person, a description of their functional level, and the reasons they may suffer harm due to their inability to care for themselves. Prospective guardians will also need to outline the powers they are seeking, the amount of time they expect these powers to last, and any other information that may help the court make a decision about whether guardianship is appropriate.

An evaluator will typically be appointed who will meet with the allegedly incapacitated person and review other information to determine whether guardianship may be needed. A person may also be represented by an attorney in guardianship proceedings to ensure that their rights will be protected in the decisions that are made. During a guardianship hearing, a judge may look at a variety of factors, including how well a person can manage daily activities, their understanding of any limitations that affect them, their preferences, their resources and ability to manage financial affairs, and any physical illnesses or mental disabilities.

When making decisions about guardianship, a court will usually look to establish the least restrictive form of intervention. If a guardian is appointed, they may only be given the powers necessary to ensure that a person’s needs will be met, while ensuring that the person will be able to direct their own lives as much as possible. To ensure that a person’s rights and interests will be protected, a guardian may be required to post a bond. They will also be required to make an initial report to the court within 90 days after being appointed, as well as annual reports that may help the court determine whether continued guardianship is necessary.

Contact Our Rockland County Guardianship Lawyer

If you wish to be appointed as the legal guardian of a loved one, or if you want to know about your options for naming a person as your guardian while also protecting your rights, Law Offices of Robert S. Lewis, P.C. can answer your questions and provide you with legal help. To set up a complimentary consultation and discuss your needs and concerns, contact our Hudson Vally adult guardianship attorney at 845-358-7100.