Questions About Guardianship

Questions About GuardianshipThe dedicated Rochester guardianship lawyers at Friedman & Ranzenhofer are highly experienced in assisting Western New York residents file for guardianship. We are happy to assist you in every step of the guardianship process. If you have questions about guardianship, please contact our Rochester guardianship lawyers for a legal consultation.

Questions About Guardianship | When is a Guardianship Necessary

Guardianship proceedings are initiated when an interested or concerned party believes that a person, because of his/her mental health, physical, and functional limitations, is unable to manage independently, and as a result, may be at risk of harm. While guardianship may be appropriate in such circumstances, it is possible that other, less intrusive methods can address the individual’s risks and services needed.

Guardianship should be pursued as a last resort, where there are no available resources or adequate alternatives available to protect the individual. If resources exist, such as a power of attorney, trust or health care proxy, the personal needs and property management of the individual may already be adequately provided for, making a guardianship unnecessary and an excessive intrusion upon the individual’s liberty interests.

Questions About Guardianship | Who is the Guardian?

A New York Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Guardian is a person appointed by the court to assist an incapacitated person with personal needs and/or property management. The court may appoint a guardian for any incapacitated adult, including persons who are mentally retarded and developmentally disabled. The decision to appoint a guardian is based on a careful review of the person’s mental capacity and life circumstances.

Questions About Guardianship | Who is the Petitioner?

The petitioner can be any of the following:

  • The alleged incapacitated person (“AIP”),
  • A person entitled to share in the estate of the AIP,
  • An executor or administrator of an estate of which the AIP is or may be a beneficiary,
  • A trustee of a trust of which the AIP is the grantor or a beneficiary,
  • A person with whom the AIP lives,
  • A person concerned with the welfare of the AIP, including a public agency, such as the department of social services in county in which the AIP lives and,
  • The CEO of a facility in which the AIP is a patient or resident.

A guardianship proceeding is a legal action brought by the petitioner who believes that the AIP cannot take care of his/her/ own personal needs, e.g. healthcare, or cannot manage his/her property, e.g. pay bills. The petitioner believes that because of the AIP’s inability, the court should appoint someone to have the powers to make decisions about personal needs and/or financial management on behalf of the AIP.

If you have any more questions about guardianship, please contact our experienced Rochester guardianship lawyers today to schedule a legal consultation.

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