Share

Guardianship

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What is the right age to get a Power of Attorney?

My answer to this question is always the same: 18! Before you turn 18, your parents are legally responsible for you and can make legal decisions on your behalf. After you turn 18, NO ONE can do that. It comes as a huge shock to most of my clients, but in the event of incapacity -  neither your parents, nor your spouse nor your children can sign for you in banks, speak on your behalf to government agencies or initiate a lawsuit on your behalf. Unless, of course, they have a Power of Attorney or they went to court to seek a guardianship order.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Rich and Famous Planning: Sumner Redstone – an estate plan that is embarrassment for the man, the family and the company?


Mr. Redstone’s fortune is estimated at $5 billion. He could afford the best legal plan in the world. Yet, despite the assets and despite the multitude of involved lawyers, his estate planning and his last years are turning out to be a mess.

Mr.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What is a Guardianship

When is it Necessary: Having a Power of Attorney and a Health Care Proxy are the best ways of ensuring that your wishes are honored by a person that you trust. Sometimes, however, an individual loses capacity and has not executed these advanced directives.  Without a Power of Attorney, NO ONE has the right to go into your bank account and withdraw assets to pay your own bills. NO ONE has a right to sell your house and move you into a more appropriate environment. And without a Health Care Proxy, NO ONE has a right to your health care records.

 In those cases, it may become necessary to apply to court to appoint a person who will be able to take care of the individual and effect his wishes. That person is called a Guardian. The process of appointing a Guardian is long, expensive and entails a complete loss of privacy.

 Judicial Standard: In order for a guardian to be appointed, there must be a judicial determination, based on a clear and convincing standard, that (1) the individual is unable to meet his daily needs for hygiene, food, clothing, medical care, financial affairs and personal safety, and (2) the individual is unable to comprehend his own inability to manage his own affairs.  

Both of the above prongs are necessary: if a person is simply eccentric and prefers to live in a squalid environment, no guardian will be appointed. Similarly, if a person is wheelchair bound, but retains his mental facilities and is able to arrange for his own care, no guardian will be appointed.

Guardianship Proceeding

  1. Petition: A petition must be filed with the Court. Amongst other things:

              a.  The petition will provide a detailed description of the alleged incapacitated person’s (“AIP”) functional level and his understanding of his inability to manage activities of daily living.

              b.  The petition will list all the powers being sought by the guardian over the AIP.

              c.   The petition will list all the person’s assets, income, and debts.

 

2.   Appointees: If the petition is deemed not to be frivolous, the court will appoint:

             A. Court Evaluator. This is an independent person who will investigate the Petition. This person will interview the AIP, the AIP’s relatives, the AIP’s neighbors, the AIP’s doctors, the person who filed the petition, and anyone else who has any knowledge of the AIP. The Court Evaluator will provide a report to the judge, with this recommendation.

            B. Attorney for the AIP. This person will represent the wishes of the AIP. Very often, the AIP does not want a guardian to be appointed over him – after all, who wants to lose his autonomy?

 

3.     Hearing: A hearing is required before a guardian is appointed. During a hearing, the petitioner will present evidence about the AIP’s incapacity and need for a guardian. Petitioner and the AIP may both put witnesses on the stand and cross examine them. The Court Evaluator presents his report. The hearing is public, so anyone can attend.

4.     Decision: At the end of the hearing, and taking into account all the evidence presented, the judge makes the decision about the necessity of the appointment. If a specific person sought to be appointed as a guardian (i.e. a daughter sought these powers over the mother), then she may receive it. If Adult Protective Services sought the guardianship, because no family is available, then a non-profit organization will be assigned as a Guardian.

 

Disclaimer: This article only offers general information.  Each situation is unique. It is always helpful to talk to a specialized attorney, to figure out your various options and ramifications of actions.  As every case has subtle differences, please do not use this article for legal advice. Only a signed engagement letter will create an attorney-client relationship.

 

 


Archived Posts

2017
2016
November
October
August
July
June
April
March
February
January
2015
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January
2014


The Law Offices of Katya Sverdlov serves clients throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens New York.



© 2017 Law Offices of Katya Sverdlov | Disclaimer
30 Wall Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10005
| Phone: 212-709-8112
159 20th Street, 1B, Brooklyn, NY 11232
| Phone: 917-566-8151

Estate Planning | Planning for Incapacity | Guardianships | Probate / Estate Administration | Special Needs Planning | Elder Law | Medicaid Planning | Medicaid Fraud Investigations | Business Formation & Selling Your Business | Business Succession Planning | Estate Litigation | Residential Real Estate | Attorney Profile

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative