To obtain guardianship of a child, a person must file a petition with the court. A petition is a legal form that allows a person to ask the court for something. Anyone 18 years of age or older can file a petition with the court to become a guardian. Article 81 was designed by the state legislature to provide flexibility in meeting the needs of disabled adults.
Not all adults with disabilities need help to meet all of their needs. Some just need help with property management, paying bills, or making medical decisions. Article 81 is very clear in identifying only those areas where the adult needs assistance. Guardians are given only the authority necessary to meet the specific needs of the disabled adult.
This way, adults with special needs can still maintain control over their decisions when they have the capacity to do so. When a person turns 18, New York State assumes that they are legally competent to make their own decisions. For an adult with intellectual or developmental disabilities who cannot make decisions for themselves, a petition for guardianship under Article 17-A is appropriate. This type of guardianship is filed with the Surrogacy Court and can be a guardianship over the person, property, or both.
A certification from two doctors or from a doctor and a psychologist is required. The Article 17-A guardianship is intended to be quite broad and cover most of the decisions a parent would normally make for a minor child, including options regarding finances and medical treatment. In New York, there is no statewide public guardian system, as in other states. Instead, judges generally seek to appoint private attorneys or community organizations to be guardians, and local social service commissioners are allowed to make appointments if another guardian cannot be found.
The highly qualified attorneys at Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin have decades of experience connecting New Yorkers with the legal tools they need to enact effective and binding adult guardianships. This means that a family member seeking guardianship of an adult has a heavy burden of proof to establish a disability. Some wards whose guardianship has been terminated have established power of attorney or health care power of attorney to cover decision-making needs if they need to decompensate medically or mentally. Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin's experienced guardianship attorneys have decades of experience seeking, challenging and defending adult guardianship.
Guardianship of a Child In New York State, a person is considered a child if they are 20 years of age or younger, unmarried, and not in military service. Two doctors familiar with the potential ward must also sign affidavits in support of the guardianship petition. Under the law, a guardian must be over the age of eighteen, be considered by the court as capable of serving as a guardianship, never be convicted of a felony, not be a professional serving the conservatee, and not be in debt to the conservatee. First, the court must determine that the AIP consents to guardianship or meets the statutory definition of disability.
It is important that the person seeking guardianship (the petitioner) carefully consider the needs of the person who is believed to need a guardian and to seek guardianship solely on the basis of those needs. Plenary guardianship means that the person needs a guardian to manage all financial assets.