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Legal guardianships: What New Yorkers need to know

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Blog, Family Law |

Legal guardianships are thoughtful legal arrangements that help ensure the well-being of individuals who are unable to make decisions for themselves. Pursuing a guardianship can be a huge help to a family member in need.

For New Yorkers navigating the complexities of legal guardianships, understanding the key aspects of the process is a must.

Types of guardianships

New York recognizes two primary types of guardianships. These are guardianships of the person and guardianships of the property. A guardianship of the person involves decisions about an individual’s health, living situation, and overall well-being. On the other hand, a guardianship of the property pertains to financial matters. These might include managing assets and making financial decisions.

Initiating the guardianship process

The process of establishing a legal guardianship begins with filing a petition in the appropriate court. The petitioner, often a concerned family member, must demonstrate the necessity of a guardianship due to the individual’s incapacity. Medical and financial evidence is crucial in supporting the case.

Court evaluation and decision

Upon receiving the petition, the court evaluates the protected person’s capacity. This evaluation is typically performed by a court-appointed evaluator. The court then reviews the findings and decides whether a guardianship is appropriate.

Termination of guardianship

Guardianships are not always indefinite. The court may terminate the guardianship under certain circumstances. If the protected person regains capacity or if the guardian fails to fulfill their duties, the court may revisit and modify the guardianship arrangement.

Studies show that there are approximately 1.3 million guardianship or conservatorship cases active in the United States at any time. Not only is a guardianship a common legal process but it is also one that can vary state by state, so New York citizens should understand how it works in the Empire State before proceeding.



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