If you want to be appointed as a guardian of an adult relative in New York City, it is important that you speak to an experienced New York probate attorney. In New York, a guardian does not automatically receive complete control over all of an incapacitated person’s life. The court can grant limited powers covering only those areas that the adult needs assistance with. An attorney can assist you in tailoring your request to the needs of your incapacitated relative.
Most guardianships are for financial reasons. When people get older, many no longer have the ability to pay their bills on time and handle other aspects of their finances, such as filing taxes. If the incapacitated person is capable of handling his own health care decisions, however, the court will normally not appoint the guardian the power to make medical decisions until it becomes necessary. In other situations, a court might only appoint a guardian to prevent abusive or dangerous situations, such as self-harm by the incapacitated adult or financial abuse by another, unscrupulous relative.
Whatever the reason for an adult guardianship, be sure to limit your initial request for guardianship to include only the necessary powers. This will assist the court in knowing that you are an appropriate person to appoint as a guardian because you are only asking for authority to help your adult relative in those areas where help is actually needed.