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Should any individual in New York not be able to care for themselves, they may benefit from having a legal guardian appointed to care for them. This will be done in accordance with New York’s guardianship laws. Should a minor child not have anyone able to care for them, they could be assigned a legal guardian. If someone is developmentally or intellectually disabled; they could be assigned a guardian. Older people suffering physical or mental problems and more are increasingly being appointed a guardian.

Guardianship Process
The process of establishing a guardianship for an individual begins with filing paperwork known as a “Petition for Appointment of Guardian.” This is done with the appropriate court in the county where the individual needing a guardian resides. The petition can be filed in either Family Court or Surrogate’s Court. A judge will officially appoint someone to be a guardian with an order referred to as “letters of guardianship.” This document will identify the type of guardianship given.

Types of Legal Guardianship
In the state of New York, there is backup guardianship. This person will be available if the original legal guardian is unable to perform their duties. There are four other types of legal guardianship. It’s possible for someone to be assigned as a guardian of someone’s property. These individuals will be responsible for a person’s finances. Someone could also be appointed as a guardian ad litem. These individuals will be an advocate for a child’s best interest during legal proceedings. There is also a stand-in guardian. This is a person who is assigned to make decisions for a child if their parents become incapacitated because of health reasons and more.

Individuals Under Guardianship
Most of the people who are under some type of guardianship in New York are female. Almost 60 percent are 65 years old or older. Approximately 30 percent of them reside in skilled nursing homes. Over 20 percent are children living with family members or other people. There are also 10 percent who are living in a hospital setting.

Grandparents
It is possible in New York for grandparents to seek guardianship over their grandchildren. They will be required to prove it is necessary because of extraordinary circumstances. If grandparents can prove extraordinary circumstances, a judge will determine if they should be made the legal guardians. When individuals request guardianship in this situation, any report of maltreatment or abuse of a child will negatively impact a judge’s decision. If there are such reports available; it will be considered by a judge when making their decision.

Who Can Be A Legal Guardian
Requesting a court to be appointed a guardian for a child who is less than 18 years old or an incapacitated person can be done by anyone. Parents will be notified if an individual requests for a court to appoint them the guardian over their child. If a child is 14 years old or older, their input and consent may be considered when determining guardianship. It is also possible for a parent to consent to have someone become a guardian for their child.

Incapacitated Family Members
It is possible for a family member to become incapacitated and need to have a guardian. In this situation, a guardian can be given the authority to take care of the daily living activity like bathing, dressing and more. It’s possible for a guardian to be able to prevent an incapacitated family member from being taken advantage of by people who get money by fraud as well as end physical abuse and more.

When a guardian needs to be appointed, it is essential to discuss the situation with an experienced attorney. A person will want to understand their circumstances and what they can expect from the court. An attorney will know what is required to get the result a client desires.

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