Guardianships arise when due to age, incapacity, or disability, a person is unable to manage their health and/or financial matters, and they either lack appropriate estate planning documents appointing agents to make decisions on their behalf or the estate planning documents that they do have don’t convey sufficient authority to address all of their health and/or financial issues.
In New York State, there are three different kinds of guardianship proceedings which are found in Articles 17 and 17-A of the Surrogate Court Procedure Act (SCPA) and Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL). While guardianships can be a wonderfully helpful tool, Courts also encourage the use of less restrictive alternatives such as supportive decision making, when appropriate.
It’s best to work closely with an attorney so that you’re aware of all of the possible options based upon your particular circumstances and can determine the best course of action for the future. At Meier Law Firm, PLLC, we can advise and represent you through this process. Our lawyers are here to listen to you, advocate for you, and guide you through the legal and practical steps involved in determining whether supportive decision-making is a suitable alternative to guardianship.