A guardianship is a formal legal arrangement granted by a court under which one person has the right and duty to care for another person and/or their property. At HoganWillig, we assist clients with guardianship proceedings to help protect the well-being and property of individuals with disabilities and incapacitated individuals.
There are 3 basic types of guardianships in New York:
Article 81 Guardianship
An Article 81 Guardianship is appropriate for an individual who, at one time, was competent but now suffers from cognitive or functional limitations that are likely to cause the person harm. In such cases, the incapacity or limitation may be the result of a sudden accident, an unexpected illness or a slow progressive disease.
Article 17 Guardianship (for a minor)
When a minor's property is valued at more than $10,000, a court must oversee the management of the assets. This usually occurs when a minor child receives a personal injury settlement or inherited property following the death of a relative. The objective of the law is to conserve and protect the assets throughout childhood. When the child attains age 18, the assets are turned over to the child.
Article 17A Guardianship (for a developmentally disabled individual)
Often, parents of a developmentally disabled or mentally retarded child assume that they may continue to make decisions for their child even after the child attains age 18. However, in New York, the age of majority is 18 years. Once an individual attains 18 years of age, no other person has the authority to make personal, medical and/or financial decisions for that individual. In order to have the legal authority to make decisions for an adult with a developmental disability, a guardianship proceeding is required.