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The benefits of an adult guardianship

Life expectancy continues to rise in America. Yet, even though we are living longer, that sometimes means that we live more years in declining health. For many New Yorkers, this means they or their loved ones need to find a way to get by when they may be unable to care for themselves. When this is the case, it may be time to seek an adult guardianship.

A guardian has numerous duties. Among the necessary responsibilities are fiduciary duties. This means that a guardian is responsible for the financial affairs of the individual he or she is responsible for, and the guardian must make all decisions in a way that furthers the protected individual's best interest. In addition to fiduciary duties, a guardian may need to make decisions that are important to the protected individual's everyday livelihood, including where he or she will live and ensuring that he or she receives appropriate medical care. The benefits of a guardianship are numerous when an elderly individual is truly incapacitated.

A guardianship can place a lot of pressure on a person who is responsible for protecting a vulnerable individual. But, oftentimes, it is necessary, particularly when important financial and healthcare decisions are not addressed in an individual's estate plan. Despite the heavy burden of this responsibility, there are times when multiple people seek court appointment as a guardian. In other instances, an elderly individual may try to claim that he or she is not incapacitated, and guardianship is therefore unnecessary. When this happens, it may be time to seek legal counsel.

Failing to fully understand the ramifications of the law can lead to an undesirable outcome in which a loved one is suddenly left either unprotected or at the will of an individual he or she never would have trusted in the first place. Those considering seeking adult guardianship would likely benefit from getting the right information about the applicable law.


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Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP
245 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601

Phone: 914-269-2367
Toll Free: 800-724-1327
Fax: 914-948-9316
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