Guardianships

A guardianship may be necessary when a family member has become incapable of managing his or her affairs.  This incapacity may arise for various reasons, including aging, physical illness, mental or developmental disabilities or even infancy.  Usually this family member has not signed a power of attorney or health care proxy.

There are three types of guardianship proceedings available in New York: (1) Article 81 proceedings under the Mental Hygiene Law; (2) Article 17-A proceedings under the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (“SPCA”); and (3) Article 17 proceedings under the SPCA.

Article 81 Proceedings

  • Commonly used with the elderly, but applies to any incapacitated person
  • Can narrowly tailor guardianship order to meet specific needs or situation

Article 17-A Proceedings

  • For developmentally disabled and mentally retarded persons  or victims of traumatic head injury
  • Usually brought by parents to continue caring for and managing child’s affairs beyond 18th birthday

Article 17 Proceedings

  • Brought on behalf of minors
  • Usually brought to manage property acquired by minors

Please contact us to discuss which of these proceedings best fits the needs of your family.