New York Guardian Lawyer

Guardians of the property in New York, are persons appointed by the court to care for and make financial decisions for a person who is unable to do so for themselves.

To be appointed as a guardian, you will have to file a petition with the New York Surrogate’s Court, Family Court or the Supreme Court depending on your case. A New York guardian lawyer can assist you with filing the proper paperwork in the appropriate court.

In addition to petitioning the court to become guardian of the property, you can also petition to be appointed as guardian of the person. The guardian of the person makes healthcare and personal decisions. Speak with a skilled trusts and estates attorney to learn more.

Who Needs a Guardian?

In New York, a guardian of the property is appointed for minors, incapacitated persons or persons with developmental disabilities. A minor will need a guardian of the property in situations where their parents are not able to manage property left for them for reasons such as death, imprisonment or deportation. If a person is an adult but suffers from cognitive or physical impairment that impacts their ability to make sound financial decisions, a guardian of the property may need to be appointed.

Termination of Guardianships

A guardianship for a minor will usually end on their 18th birthday. Alternatively, if an incapacitated person regains the ability to make financial decisions, a judge may decide to terminate the guardianship.

Guardianship Petitions

Every guardianship proceeding is started once a petition is filed with the court. Guardianship petitions are usually filed by an incapacitated person’s spouse, family member or Social Services agency.

A judge will review all information submitted to the court by the petitioner and the respondent. The judge will then make a determination regarding the alleged incapacity and who will be appointed as guardian if necessary.

A New York guardianship lawyer could assist an individual with the preparation of their petition to ensure that all necessary information is included and submitted in a timely manner.

Duties of a Guardian

As a Guardian, you are generally granted the authority to make any financial or property related decisions the incapacitated person was previously able to make for himself. You should make every effort to act in the incapacitated person’s best interests.

Some responsibilities a person will have as guardian include:

  • Ensuring timely payment of bills
  • Collecting assets
  • Filing annual tax returns
  • Managing investments

A guardian of the property is required to file an initial report within 90 days of their appointment in addition to annual reports. The initial report should include an inventory of the incapacitated person’s property and assets.

If a person is unsure about their role or legal authority, an attorney could review their court order and clarify any questions the individual may have about their duties as a guardian.

Reaching Out to a New York Guardian Attorney

The best way to avoid dealing with a court-appointed guardian is to execute a durable power of attorney and health care proxy before you become incapacitated. After you become incapacitated, you will not be able to properly execute these documents. The court prefers to make use of these less restrictive means of providing care to an incapacitated person.

A New York guardian attorney could prepare these documents for you to help avoid a lengthy and expensive guardianship proceeding in the future.

If you or a loved one were not able to put these documents in place, a lawyer can represent you in a guardianship proceeding. If you would like to schedule a consultation with a New York guardian lawyer, please call today.