It is important for your loved ones to have someone that can guide them through difficult matters in life if they become unable to manage their own affairs. Your loved one who is aging or has disabilities can benefit from having a guardianship arrangement. Continue reading to learn more about guardianships and the responsibilities of a guardian. If you have any further questions regarding this aspect of an estate plan, give our experienced estate planning attorney a call who can help determine the type of guardianship that is best for your loved one.
What is the purpose of guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal arrangement that appoints an individual to care for another’s affairs when they become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own. The guardian will have the authority to act on behalf of the minor child or incapacitated adult. This guardian is appointed by the court. There are multiple types of guardianships available in New York City, each with its own function. The following are the types of guardianships available:
- Guardianships of the person: The authority to make personal and medical decisions on an individual’s behalf
- Guardianships of the property: The authority to make financial decisions on an individual’s behalf
- Guardianship of the person and property: The authority to make decisions for both the individual and their property
- Guardian ad litem: The judge chooses an individual to assist a person who cannot come to court to protect their rights
How can one establish a guardianship in New York?
An individual who is seeking to establish a guardianship in New York must first file a guardianship petition. Commonly, the person to file the initial petitions is often a loves one or social services. However, anyone can request to be appointed guardian. It is important to understand that priority goes to family members first. The court will conduct a hearing where the case for guardianship is heard. A letter of guardianship will be issued if it is approved. However, a case could be opened to assess the situation further if any family members oppose the choice of guardian or the need for guardianship.
What are my responsibilities as a guardian?
A guardian’s responsibilities include making personal, medical, and financial decisions for an individual who cannot act for themselves. The following are further duties that a guardian is responsible for:
- Making decisions regarding living arrangements
- Protecting the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of the individual
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