New York Guardianship Law Lawyer
If you need help setting up a guardianship to protect your child or a loved one, you should consult a New York guardianship lawyer. However, before you consider guardianship, you need to educate yourself on the basics of this legal relationship.
What is Guardianship?
This is a legal arrangement where the court grants a person the right to decide for another person who cannot make decisions on their own. The parties who are subject to a guardianship include children, incapacitated adults, and persons with development disabilities.
The guardian is the one charged with making decisions on behalf of another person. The ward, or guardianee, is the one who the guardian makes decisions for.
There are four main types of guardianships:
- Guardian of the person: In this relationship, the guardian handles life decisions on behalf of the ward. These include decisions on education, health care, and welfare.
- Guardian of the property: In this relationship, the guardian handles decisions centering on the ward’s investments, savings, and money. The law requires a guardian of property to present an annual report on the ward’s property.
- Guardian ad litem: In this relationship, the guardian acts for the ward during a court case when the ward cannot protect their interests or defend their rights.
- Guardian of the person and property: In this relationship, the guardian handles decisions affecting the ward’s person, and their property.
How is Guardianship Established?
Guardianship is established by filing papers in court. The petitioner will file a request in court stating their interest in becoming the guardian of a child or adult. Usually it is a child’s parent, social services, or some other person who files this petition.
After a petition has been filed, the court will conduct a hearing where the petitioner states the reason why they think a person needs a guardian. In some cases, an inspection or home visit, and a criminal background check will be conducted on the prospective guardian.
When the judge rules in favor of the petitioner, they will issue them a letter of guardianship that specifically outlines the guardian’s duties and responsibilities.
What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Guardian For Your Child?
When choosing a legal guardian for your child, you need to ensure the following conditions are met:
- The guardian must be 18 years and over
- The guardian should have a genuine interest in the welfare of your child
- The guardian must have the time and physical ability to fulfill their responsibilities towards your child
- The guardian must be financially capable of raising your children, either through their own means or through the assets or income you leave for the care of your child
- The guardian should have no criminal background. Their morals should be those you feel should be instilled in your child
- If the guardian has other children, they must be capable of handling their needs while still paying attention to the needs of your child. If they have no children, they should be able to give your child the attention they need and be creative enough to ensure your child does not feel lonely or neglected
If you are considering guardianship for your child or loved one, this demonstrates your affection towards them and your desire to serve their best interests. While guardianship may seem like a simple legal matter, there is a need to be keen on the individual you appoint as a guardian, their responsibilities, and how long you expect them to serve as guardians. A New York guardianship law attorney can help you make critical decisions regarding guardianship and make all the necessary legal measures to ensure your child or loved one is in good hands.