New York City Guardianship Attorney
What is a Guardianship?
Guardianship gives another person the legal authority to make health care, financial, and property management decisions on behalf of people who are unable to do so for themselves under a guardianship proceeding, which oftentimes requires legal counsel from a New York Guardianship attorney. In order for this proceeding to occur, this person must be deemed as an incapacitated person (IP).
What is Adult Guardianship?
Adult Guardianship, or adult conservatorship is a legal procedure where a court rules that an individual is no longer able to make their own decisions as a result of severe disabilities and is in need of protection. The individual may not be to competently make decisions about medical care, or obtain liveable circumstances including appropriate food and shelter. This is also known as a “disability.” If a court believes that a disability is negatively impacting a person’s ability to make decisions, it will appoint someone to make these decisions on behalf of the disabled person. This person is known as a legal guardian.
How Can an NYC Guardianship Attorney Help with the Guardianship Process?
The Guardianship process could be lengthy and hiring an attorney could help ensure that this process goes smoothly and without any complications. An NYC Elder Attorney can help assist you or a loved one to appoint a guardian. Additionally, an elder care attorney can help gather necessary documentation that would prove the individual requiring assistance is an incapacitated person. Once a guardian is approved, an attorney can give the approved guardian the consent to pay bills and prevent self-neglect of the incapacitated person.
What is the process for obtaining Guardianship?
In order to have a legal guardian appointed for someone who is incompetent or incapaciatated, there are several steps that you must go through. Here are the steps:
- Step 1: The first step in appointing a guardian involves obtaining a letter or report that certifies the legal disability of the ward; the main objective here is to explain why an individual is in need of a guardian.
- Step 2: After this letter is obtained, you must then file a petition with the court. After, a court summons is issued to the ward, or a person that is under the protection of a guardian.
- Step 3: After a court summons is issued, a hearing is held where evidence must be presented to show that the ward is either disabiled or improperly being taken care of if they are a minor. An attorney will normally be present. The evidence during this hearing must prove that the guardianship is absolutely necessary. The hearing also decides the entity that will act as guardian as well as what the authority of the guardian will be. This process could take between two weeks to two months to complete.
Despite this process being lengthy, states like New York have implemented policies allowing a guardian to be appointed in extenuating circumstances. In these types of cases, the appointment of a guardian is made after a hearing about the issue at hand as well as the nature of the guardian’s role is presented. This process only takes a few days.
What are other types of Guardianship?
- Child Guardian: In some instances, children under the age of 18 may be required to live with a legal guardian that is not their parent. Anybody who assumes legal guardianship of a minor has the responsibility of a legal parent. They must provide the child with food, housing, clothing, education, medical care, and any other basic needs. Guardianship of minors pertains to a legal relationship between a child under the age of 18 and an adult guardian. A guardianship doesn’t negate the legal relationship that exists between a child and their biological parents; instead, it co-exists with the relationship of the legal guardian.
- Guardian of Property: Besides having guardianship of a person, it is also possible to have guardianship of a property, which means the guardian has the power to manage a child’s property until they become the legal age of 18 to manage it on their own. A child’s property may consist of money that has been left to their name. Most times, the guardian chosen to manage the child’s property is also appointed as the child’s guardian as well.
- Guardian ad litem: Another type of guardianship that exists is Guardian ad litem (GAL). This is when a person is appointed by a judge to help represent a person that is not able to be present at court. The guardian is responsible for protecting the rights and interests of that person during a single court case. A GAL can be appointed in cases that involve children or incapacitated persons. GAL’s are only responsible for helping an individual resolve their court case.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How long does a Guardianship last?
A guardianship can last forever unless modified, revoked or terminated. The courts are allowed to do so if evidence becomes available of the ward’s incompetence and ability to make decisions on behalf of an individual.
Who is considered an Incapacitated Person (IP)?
An incapacitated person is an individual who the court has deemed to lack the ability to manage some or all of their essential health and safety requirements. This individual may not have the ability to make or communicate responsible personal decisions.
How Do I Challenge a Guardianship?
If someone has a history of violent behavior, alcohol abuse or drug abuse, then it would be difficult for them to have guardianship. You can also challenge guardianship eligibility on the basis that they are incapable of managing the child or the child’s estate.
What Happens at a Guardianship Hearing?
At the guardianship hearing, the judge will ask the “guardian to be” different questions that the judge may have, anyone who is challenging a guardianship will also be allowed to give the judge reasons they are challenging the guardianship. After the judge has all the information from everyone, the judge may decide immediately whether to allow or deny the guardianship.
With almost twenty two years of experience as New York Guardianship Attorneys, the Law Offices of Inna Fershteyn, P.C. will help you if you are in need of legal assistance with your guardianship case or you need representation. Located in Brooklyn, we serve communities nearby, in Manhattan and the entire New York city area. To schedule an appointment at our firm call (718) 333-2394 contact us today.