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What is Guardianship?

Guardianship involves a situation where a court appoints one person (the Guardian) to make decisions regarding personal and financial matters of another individual (the ward). In New York, a Guardian may be appointed under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law by a Supreme Court judge or Article 17A of the Wills, Trusts & Estate Law by a Surrogate Court Judge.

Guardianship proceedings should be brought when there is an individual whose judgment or capacity is impaired or there is a major threat to an individual’s health and welfare. A physician should be consulted to render a medical evaluation of the capabilities of the individual who you seek a Guardianship for.

A Guardian can have two types of authority in the State of New York. He or she can have authority over the person, of the ward. The Guardian can also have authority over the property of ward or both the person and property of the ward.

If a Guardian is appointed to deal with the person of the ward, he or she is responsible for medical treatment. A Guardian appointed to handle the personal finances of the ward must account for of the ward’s income, assets and expenditures to the court that appointed him or her.

For help on guardianships for children under 18 or elderly individuals, you can always e-mail or call our office at 800-344-6431.

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