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When a person is unable to care for themselves or manage their personal or financial responsibilities on their own, they can be considered legally incapacitated, or a “ward.” In these situations, the court may undergo proceedings to appoint a “conservator” or “guardian” to manage the affairs, provide care, and make important decisions on their behalf. At Davidov Law Group, our guardianship attorneys have handled countless guardianship situations for clients throughout Nassau and Queens Counties and can handle these matters on your behalf.
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Article 81 vs. Article 17-A Guardianships
There are two types of guardianships established under the New York State Mental Hygiene Law – an Article 81 guardianship and an Article 17-A guardianship. An Article 81 guardianship is an elder law guardianship in which a person is appointed to handle the decision-making responsibilities for an elderly person who is cognitively or physically disabled. Conversely, an Article 17-A guardianship applies for special needs children who are reaching adulthood and are unable to handle the associated adult responsibilities on their own.
Guardians can be granted several authorities and responsibilities, including:
- The responsibility to pay bills for the ward
- The power to prevent ward self-neglect
- The power to engage in Medicaid planning for the ward
- The authority to engage in tax planning for the ward
- The authority to make medical decisions for the wards
- The power to manage benefits for the ward
- The authority to purchase, sell, and manage assets for the ward
These powers are granted on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific needs of the ward. Potential guardians include an appointed family member or friend who is 18 years or older, a public agency, a corporation, or a local department of social services.
What Are the Alternatives to Guardianship?
While a guardianship can be an invaluable to tool to ensure a person receives proper care, it comes at the cost of a substantial loss of their personal freedom and may not accurately reflect their desires. Individuals can establish their wishes ahead of time for this type of situation by creating a power of attorney or a revocable living trust that will become effective in the event they should become incapacitated from injury or illness. It is always best to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to plan for these types of scenarios in advance and implement legal tools to ensure your desires are honored.
Retain Compassionate Advocacy Today
If you are involved in a guardianship situation of any kind, our firm’s Nassau & Queens County guardianship lawyers can walk you step-by-step through the associated legal channels and handle any issues that should arise on your behalf. Having earned a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating and a Super Lawyers® inclusion for our top-notch advocacy, we can provide the strong legal guidance you need to ensure your rights are protected and that your loved ones receive the care they deserve. Let us put our vast knowledge and skills to work for you so you can achieve much needed peace of mind during this time.
Get in touch with our office online today to review your legal options.