Frequently Asked Questions

When an adult child, an aging parent or another loved one is diagnosed with an intellectual disability, establishing guardianship allows you to play an active role in his or her life, and to provide protection and security by handling financial, healthcare and other decisions on his or her behalf. If your child is still a minor, or if you are concerned about an aging parent’s or other loved one’s needs in the future, establishing guardianship now can reduce the burdens of the guardianship petition process.

There are also alternatives to guardianship; and, due to the legal implications involved with guardianship, the decision to file a petition is not one to be taken lightly. Here, we provide answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about filing a guardianship petition:

What is Guardianship?

Guardianship is a legal relationship pursuant to which one adult has the authority to act on behalf of another. It is most commonly used in circumstances in which a person is unable to make sound decisions or meet his or her own day-to-day needs as the result of an intellectual disability. This can be either a congenital disability or one that develops later in life.

What are the Different Types of Guardianship?

There are several different types of guardianship. Before filing a guardianship petition, it is important to ensure that you are pursuing the type of guardianship that is most appropriate for your loved one’s individual circumstances. For example, guardianship can either be full or limited, and it can either be of the person (for healthcare management), of the property (for financial management) or both.

What is Involved in Filing a Guardianship Petition?

Filing a guardianship petition is a complex legal process that is handled in the Supreme and Surrogate’s Courts of New York and the Connecticut Probate Courts. Along with the petition itself, you must present any necessary supporting documentation, and you must be prepared to respond to any inquiries from the Court. Due to the complexity of the process and the significance of its implications, it is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney to represent you.

What Happens if Someone Challenges My Guardianship Petition?

If someone challenges your guardianship petition, then you will need to respond to the challenge in court. This can be the case, for example, if someone else believes that he or she would be better suited to serve as your loved one’s guardian.

Can My Loved One Consent to Having a Guardian Appointed?

If your loved one has not yet been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, then he or she may be able to consent to having a guardian appointed. In this scenario, the guardianship would only become effective if and when it becomes necessary. This is a good option for many families, as it not only allows them to plan in advance, but also simplifies the guardianship petition process.

Request a Confidential Initial Consultation at EismanLaw PLLC

If you would like more information about filing a guardianship petition, the alternatives to guardianship or any of the other legal aspects of caring for a loved one with an intellectual disability in New York or Connecticut, we encourage you to schedule an initial consultation at EismanLaw PLLC. To request an appointment at your convenience, please call 914-864-3355 or inquire online today.