When a person grows older or is disabled, they may need a little extra help than others. In the event of this, a guardian may be appointed to act on their behalf. This is often done when an individual is no longer able to take care of themselves and their own needs, whether it may be personally or financially. A guardian may be appointed in an estate plan or by the court. Often times, guardianship cases in New York are handled by the Family Court, Supreme Court or Surrogate’s Court depending on the type of guardianship. If you were appointed as a person’s guardian, it is important to understand the role.

What is Guardianship?

When a person is unable to manage personal or financial matters on their own, they may need someone to do so for them. When a guardian is appointed, they are legally able to take care of these tasks for another person. This may be an elderly or disabled person. A guardian can be anyone over the age of 18 and a legal resident or citizen of the United States, as long as they do not have a criminal record. Often times, a family member or loved one may step into this role to take care of the person in need.

Types of Guardianship

In the state of New York, a guardian can have responsibility for different aspects of an individual’s life. The types of guardianships are as follows:

  • Guardian of the person: This individual makes life decisions for a person, including health care, education, and welfare.
  • Guardian of the property: This individual handles decisions about the person’s money, investments, and savings. They are obligated to file an annual report about the properties.
  • Guardian of the person and property: This individual is responsible for both life and property decisions.
  • Guardian ad litem: This individual is assigned by a judge to act for an individual during a court case in the event that they cannot defend their rights or protect their own interests.

Choosing a Guardian

An individual may wish to choose their own guardian before they are unable to take care of themselves. This can be done through an estate plan that is created when the individual is mentally capable of doing so. When choosing a guardian, it is crucial to appoint someone can be trusted to act in another’s best interest and not take advantage of the situation in any way.

Contact our Firm

If you have been appointed as a guardian or are looking to create an estate plan to appoint your own, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today.

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.