What is Article 81 for Guardianship in New York?
Article 81 is a law that authorizes the court to appoint a guardian in the event that an individual is incapacitated. Under Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law, only certain persons may initiate guardianship proceedings and the court may only appoint a guardian under certain circumstances. The Long Island guardianship attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP are experienced in this complex area of law and can help you understand your rights.
Purpose of Appointing a Guardian
When an adult loses his or her ability to make medical or financial decisions, family members typically petition the court to appoint a guardian. Guardians may help such individuals make choices pertaining to their particular type of incapacitation. According to the statute, guardians should assist incapacitated persons in the least restrictive manner necessary to provide for their needs.
Powers Granted to a Guardian
The power that each guardian is granted depends on the circumstances of the case and may include:
- Assist with daily living tasks – Incapacitated persons may lack the ability to sufficiently care for themselves and may require assistance with day-to-day living tasks such as bathing, dressing, and cooking.
- Collect assets/apply for benefits – Guardians may be granted the power to collect assets and apply for private or government benefits on behalf of incapacitated individuals.
- Enter into contracts – Guardianship may include the power to create contracts, including entering an incapacitated person’s property into revocable or irrevocable trusts.
- Handle taxes – The court may authorize a guardian to handle an incapacitated person’s taxes in order to reduce estate taxes.
- Pay bills – If an individual is unable to pay his or her bills, the court may authorize a guardian to do so for them.
- Prevent/stop financial or physical abuse – Guardians may be appointed to prevent or stop the incapacitated person from being financially exploited or physically abused.
- Provide medical care – Guardians may hire home care, place incapacitated persons in nursing homes, or take other measures to provide them with the requisite medical care.
A Guardian’s Duties
Guardians must attend a guardianship training class and sign an oath prior to serving as a guardian. Within 90 days of appointment, the guardian must file an initial report containing the status of the incapacitated person along with a plan for his or her care. Each year, guardians must file an annual report listing all transactions made in the role of guardian. Upon the incapacitated person’s death, the guardian must file a final report and petition for discharge.
Petition for Appointment of a Guardian
Article 81 guardianship proceedings may be initiated by various individuals with an interest in the alleged incapacitated person’s welfare, including family members and the executor of the estate. The court will appoint a court evaluator, who will meet with the allegedly incapacitated person to decide whether a guardian should be appointed.
Long Island Guardianship Attorneys at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Assist Family Members and Other Interested Parties with Guardianship Proceedings
If you are concerned about your loved one’s ability to take care of him or herself, contact a Long Island guardianship attorney at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP. Our experienced lawyers are skilled in handling guardianship proceedings and can help guide you through the process. For a confidential consultation, contact us online or call us at 212-495-8133. We represent clients throughout the state, including those in Manhattan, Long Island, and Westchester, New York from our offices located in Brooklyn, New York and Lakewood, New Jersey.