If you have a loved one who is starting to “slip”, or become unable to handle some basic tasks of living, you may be thinking about how to take over his or her affairs. The best way to do this is with a healthcare proxy, living will, and power of attorney that your loved one has executed while he or she was competent.
However, many people do not plan for a time when they are unable to handle their affairs. In that case, it may be necessary to seek a guardianship over the individual. In New York, in order to be granted a guardianship, it must be proven by clear and convincing evidence that the person is likely to suffer harm because he or she is unable to provide for personal needs or handle financial affairs, and that the person can’t appreciate and understand the nature and consequences of such inability.
In order to begin a guardianship proceeding, the person seeking the guardianship must file a petition in Supreme Court. The individual over whom the guardianship is being sought (the proposed ward), will be notified of the proceeding and may be appointed an attorney. In addition, the individual’s parents, children, siblings, spouse, and other interested parties will be notified of the proceeding.
A court hearing will be held to determine whether or not a guardianship is needed. At the hearing, the petitioner will present evidence that shows the proposed ward needs a guardian. This could include testimony about the proposed ward’s unpaid bills, medical issues, and activities of daily living. The judge will then grant or deny the guardianship.
If you have a loved one who you feel is no longer able to handle his or her affairs, you may consider applying for a guardianship. Call the Attorneys at Friedman & Ranzenhofer at 716-542-5444. We have thirteen offices in New York in which to serve you. Call us today to learn more.