Guardianships can be an important step in estate planning. A guardian is useful to someone who is unable to make decisions on their own. They will have the responsibility of being an advocate for someone in need and will make important decisions on their behalf. If you have questions about how guardianship works, it is in your best interest to reach out to an experienced New York estate planning attorney to learn more.

What are guardianships in New York?

When a person is no longer able to control their own personal or financial matters, they may need to appoint a guardian to take care of these responsibilities for them. Guardians must be legally appointed. Typically, a guardian is appointed for an elderly or disabled adult.

What are the different types of guardianships?

Guardians can be held responsible for many different aspects of an individual’s life. The types of guardianships include:

  • 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 must file an annual report about the properties.
  • Guardian of the person and property: This individual is responsible for both life and property determinations.
  • Guardian ad litem: This individual is appointed 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.

Who should I choose to be my guardian?

A guardian must be over the age of 18. They also must be a legal resident or citizen of the United States, so long as they do not have a criminal record. When thinking about who to choose to be your guardian, it is imperative that you choose someone who can be trusted to act in your best interests.

Typically, a relative or loved one will step into this position to take care of the person in need. In some cases, an individual may appoint a guardian before they are unable to care for themselves. This will be expressed in an estate plan at the time that the individual is mentally able to create one.

If you are considering appointing a guardian, do not hesitate to contact an experienced estate planning attorney to help you navigate through this process.  If a person did not choose a guardian and you would like to obtain guardianship, you will also need the assistance of an estate planning attorney. Contact The Lauterbach Law Firm to discuss your needs.

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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.