Senior woman with her home caregiver

New York City Guardianship Attorney

Unfortunately, not all loved ones are able to manage their own affairs. There are legal steps that can be taken to ensure the well-being of a loved one, including aging individuals and those with disabilities. Having the right legal support when making the hard decisions can mean a world of difference in one’s life. With so many options to consider, consulting with an attorney is in your best interests. Zimmet Law Group, P.C.’s established and experienced elder law practice helps families prepare for the future of aging adults and children with disabilities. If you need a dedicated and effective legal team to guide you through the process of developing guardianship for a loved one, contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C. for a consultation.

What is a guardianship?

Simply put, guardianship is a legal arrangement where one person is appointed to take care of another’s affairs. Appointed by the court, the guardian will have the authority to act on behalf of the incapacitated adult or minor child (the ward). There are several types of guardianships available each with a different function. These include:

  • Guardianships of the person: The authority to make personal and medical decisions on behalf of an individual
  • Guardianships of the property: The authority to make financial decisions on behalf of an individual
  • Guardianship of the person and property: The authority to make decisions for both the person and the property
  • Guardian ad litem: The authority provided by a court to for a person in a court case when they cannot defend themselves and protect their rights.

Developing a guardianship is a complicated matter. Talking to an experienced Elder Law attorney is in your best interests.

What does a guardian do?

A guardian is in place to make personal, medical, and financial decisions for an individual that cannot act for him or herself. Some of the many duties a guardian may be responsible for include:

  • Protecting the physical, emotional, and developmental needs of the ward
  • Making decisions regarding living arrangements
  • Making financial decisions
  • Making medical decisions

The guardian has a fiduciary duty to always act in the best interests of the ward. To ensure that a guardian is fulfilling his or her obligation to the incapacitated individual, New York will supervise the activities of the guardian, requiring periodic updates and accounting of the ward’s estate.

Establishing a guardianship in New York

To establish a guardianship, one must file a guardianship petition. In regards to Elder Law, it is often a loved one or social services who files the initial petition. Though anyone can request to be appointed guardian, priority goes to family members. Once the petition is filed, the court will conduct a hearing in which the case for guardianship is heard. If approved, letters of guardianship will be issued. If any family members oppose the choice of guardian or the need for guardianship, a case could be opened to assess the situation further.

Contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C.

If you have been requested to be a guardian or are in the process of establishing one for a loved one, contact Zimmet Law Group, P.C. to discuss your matter. Though it may seem easy enough, a court must approve the appointment. When faced with the possibility of a court or other family member opposing an individual’s guardianship, it is best to retain the services of an experienced law firm. Zimmet Law Group, P.C. has years of experience representing clients in this situation. If you need our help, contact our firm for a consultation.

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