Estate planning is a way to protect ourselves and our assets, but also our loved ones. Through estate planning documents, we often make plans to care for our loved ones in the future. But, there are ways to care for those in need of our help now. Guardianship is something many people consider when it comes to helping their loved ones who may struggle with their personal or financial matters. Read on to learn more about guardianships in New York.

What is Guardianship?

When a person is no longer able to manage personal or financial matters on his or her own, he may need someone to help. When a guardian is appointed, this person is legally able to take care of these tasks for another person. Usually, a guardian will be appointed for an elderly or disabled adult.

Who Can Be a Guardian?

A guardian can be anyone who is 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. Oftentimes, 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 who can be trusted to act in another’s best interest and not take advantage of the situation in any way. If the person in need did not choose a guardian, a family member can attempt to gain guardianship with the help of an estate planning attorney.

If you have any questions regarding guardianship in New York, contact our firm today.

Contact our Firm

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.