When an “Incapacitated Person” (IP) is no longer able to make certain decisions concerning the management of his or her property and/or health or well-being, the court can appoint a guardian to make these decisions for him or her.
Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 ensures that the guardian’s authority is narrowly tailored to do only what the IP can no longer do for himself or herself. The need for a guardian could arise when an IP becomes physically or mentally incapacitated for any number of reasons, including accident, disease, or merely the natural process of aging.
This incapacity must pose a risk of harm to the individual who must be incapable of understanding the nature and consequences of his or her incapacity and its potential risk. The court appoints an impartial court evaluator to interview the alleged IP and make recommendations to the court. The guardian’s chief responsibility is to make decisions for the IP.
These decisions must be within the scope of the authority the court has granted the guardian, including: managing the monthly income and expenses of the IP, selling real or personal property, hiring home health aides and applying for government benefits.
If you or a family member need assistance with guardianship call me at (716) 542-5444.