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 Protection for your vulnerable loved ones

Individual autonomy is a vital aspect of human existence and an important right. However, a person’s freedom to act on his or her own behalf is necessarily linked to the capacity to do so. When older adults decline, their judgment suffers. Finally, it becomes necessary for a concerned loved one to assume responsibility for the day-to-day decisions, often over that parent’s strenuous objections. This is often the most difficult transition an adult child makes in relation to an aging parent. The guardianship is called upon when an individual cannot appreciate the consequences of their actions for personal day to day matters as well as their financial decision

Exercising parental authority over your own parents, and coping with the loss of dignity they may experience, is emotionally complex and challenging. Mark H. Weiss, P.C. has the experience to guide you through the process with the least possible disruption and conflict. We provide legal services to ensure the appropriate care of incapacitated persons, including:

  • Adult guardianship
  • Elder guardianship
  • Guardianship
  • Advance directives
  • Guardians ad litem
  • Guardianship administration

Representation in guardianship proceedings

Guardianships are different from powers of attorney, which are voluntary transfers of authority from the grantor to a responsible party. In such a case, the elder realizes it is in his or her best interest to allow an adult child/children or other trusted individual to start making important decisions. Guardianships are Court Orders given in lieu of that kind of voluntary agreement. You may initiate a guardianship proceeding to present evidence of your elder’s incapacity. The court also requires information about the family and the elder’s finances. Your elder has the right to oppose the guardianship and be represented by counsel at the hearing. Our firm represents concerned family members and the elders who are the subject of the guardianship hearings, so we are acutely aware of the emotions surrounding these processes. We strive to represent our clients thoroughly while maintaining a respectful attitude toward all parties to the conflict.

Guardian responsibilities for incapacitated elders, disabled adults and minors

Once the guardian is appointed by the court, he or she collects your elder’s assets, expends funds to meet the elder’s needs, including appropriate living arrangements, and takes necessary steps to safeguard your elder’s property. With court approval, the guardian may apply for government programs such as Medicaid.

In the case of a mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person, a 17-A Guardianship may be instituted. This proceeding is brought in Surrogate Court and may be brought for a minor.

Minors who are in good health still do not have the legal capacity to exercise mature judgment regarding finances and other adult responsibilities. A guardian may be appointed to oversee their interests until they reach the age of majority or demonstrate enough maturity to gain emancipation.

Contact an experienced guardianship attorney on Long Island

Mark H. Weiss, P.C. can help you decide whether guardianship is appropriate and what the type of guardianship best fits your circumstances. Call us at 631-462-5577 or contact our Commack office online.