If you have fond memories of your loved one caring for you as a child, you may be struggling with watching them grow older, more fragile. Seeing a parent decline in health and mental capacity can be upsetting and concerning, and sometimes it means you have to make difficult decisions.
Article 81 is a Guardianship law in New York. It is known as the "Mental Hygiene Law," which allows the State to select a Guardian to help protect and handle the financial or personal dealings of an individual who is unable to do so as a result of an incapacity. Generally, an incapacitated individual is one who is incapable of taking care of his or her own needs. Such persons need support from others, as they cannot manage important aspects of their lives.
When a person turns 18 in New York, the law presumes that the individual is competent to make important life discussions. In other words, a person is not allowed to make medical, financial or personal choices on behalf of an "of age" individual. However, what happens if a legal adult is incapable of making life decisions without assistance? Is there a legal remedy for those in need?
As it becomes more and more apparent that we are living in an increasingly dangerous world, one of the most difficult and often contentious decisions parents of minor children will need to make is who will be the standby guardian(s) of their minor children in the event of their demise. While the possibility of that occurring is not something one wants to dwell upon, it is an important issue that parents need address.