When your loved ones can no longer make their own decisions

Good health is no guarantee for anyone in New York, young or old. Sometimes a person is so injured or ill that they are incapable of making decisions on their own behalf, for example, if they are in a coma or develop dementia. In such situations, the vulnerable adult, known as the ward, may need a guardian.

What is a guardian?

A guardian is the individual the court appoints who is given the legal authority to make decisions on the ward’s behalf. In New York, a guardian must be over age 18 and a legal resident or citizen of the U.S. If you have a criminal record, you may not be appointed guardian. Ultimately, the judge will issue the decision as to who will be guardian.

The types of guardianship in New York

New York recognizes different types of guardianship. One is guardian of the person. This guardian is responsible for making life decisions on behalf of the ward, such as what medical care the ward needs and welfare decisions.

Another type of guardianship is guardian of the property. This is the person who manages the ward’s finances and investments. Those who serve as guardian of the property are required to file a report about the ward’s property every year.

A third type of guardianship is guardian of the person and property, and basically encompasses both the roles of the guardian of the person and guardian of the property.

Sometimes guardianship is necessary

No one wants to see a loved one’s health decline. However, sometimes we must accept that a loved one’s health has become so poor that they can no longer make decisions on their own behalf. In such cases, guardianship may be necessary. Elder law attorneys in Brooklyn may be a useful resource to those who want more information about guardianship.


FindLaw Network