No one wants to imagine a future in which they are unable to make decisions about their own welfare and care. Part of living independently is having the capacity to judge what one needs for one’s own self and to procure it on his or her own terms. However, New York residents may have encountered situations where individuals have lost their abilities to properly care for their own needs and have had to have others step in to help them out.

Guardianships can apply in these situations. A guardian is someone who is recognized by a legal document or appointed by a court to make decisions for another person. In some cases, a guardian is needed to guide the life of a minor who is otherwise on their own. In other cases, a guardian is needed to help an adult who has become incapacitated to manage their own affairs.

Guardians can have broad powers when it comes to caring for their wards. A guardian may be able to exercise some control over the financial resources of their ward so that they can ensure their bills are paid and their expenses are covered. A guardian may also directly make purchases of food and clothing for their ward to keep them secure.

Guardians may have powers to make medical and educational decisions for their wards, when they apply in individual guardianship cases. As readers can see, a guardian’s powers can have a broad reach into many aspects of a person’s life. Selecting the right guardian for a person is important, and attorneys who work in the long-term care and estate planning fields can assist. This is an important process, and it is one that individuals should understand their rights and what options are available to them.