New York Guardian Lawyer

Guardianship and New York Elder Law

A guardian is appointed to manage the personal, medical, and financial affairs of an individual who is no longer able or willing to do so on his or her own behalf. Most people operate under the unspoken assumption that, in the event they are unable to care for themselves, a friend or family member will step up to manage their financial, legal, and medical affairs for them. Unfortunately, many families are forced by circumstance into the realization that, unless a Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney have been planned for (see advance directives), there are many basic decisions that cannot be made until the family agrees upon, or the court identifies, a guardian for the patient.

The issues involved with guardianship are varied, but typically fall into three categories: managing, accumulating, and disbursing assets; overseeing medical decisions; and having final say on living arrangements. Each of these arenas can quickly become divisive in even close-knit families, which is why a reasoned and objective consultation with one of our New York guardianship attorneys can be beneficial for your family’s peace of mind and ensure the legal status of the guardian making the decisions.

By definition, guardianship proceedings are muddled. Most of the time, as they sort out the guardianship issue, the family is simultaneously dealing with fallout from the events that precipitated the need for guardianship. Our New York guardianship attorneys are able to assist in all aspects of guardianship proceedings. Our comprehensive consultation is designed to clearly direct your family toward an understanding of the purposes of guardianship; once a guardian has been named, our attorneys take the time to clearly explain the duties and limits involved.

Some guardianship proceedings involve cases in which the validity of a court-appointed guardian is contested by a spouse or child. Other situations arise because the performance of a guardian causes questions–leaving the family and the courts with the difficult task of evaluating a lifetime’s worth of family interaction to determine who can best see to the family member’s interests.

Additionally, the potential exists for misapplication of guardianship statutes. Some individuals find themselves or their assets inappropriately placed under guardianship, or wind up with a guardian who reaches for authority not clearly granted by the court. Our team of New York guardianship attorneys is experienced in identifying cases in which guardianship can be legally contested, or in which a guardian is overstepping his or her legal authority.

When properly applied, guardianship is simply one more way to protect the health and assets of the incapacitated individual. It’s designed to ensure that the individual responsible for decisions is clearly identified under the law, allowing the guardian to focus on making serious medical, legal, and financial choices. It can also free the the family from disagreements that can distract them from other means of caring for an ailing loved one.

Contact one of our New York guardianship attorneys today to schedule a guardianship consultation.

Littman Krooks LLP is located in New York City, White Plains and Fishkill, NY and serves clients in and around White Plains, New Rochelle, Purchase, Hartsdale, Armonk, Scarsdale, Chappaqua, Hawthorne, Briarcliff Manor, Ardsley, Elmsford, Larchmont, Valhalla, Harrison, Port Chester, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, Hastings on Hudson, Rye, Tuckahoe, Fishkill, Poughkeepsie, Bronx County, Nassau County, New York County, Queens County, Rockland County, Westchester County and Dutchess County.