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Elder Planning Isn't Just For The Elderly

5 quick tips about adult guardianship

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Guardianships

People age. They eventually start to lose some of the abilities they once had.

At this point, it makes sense that children take care of their elders. Guardianship might help you do that, but it is not for everyone, and it can also be avoided by proper planning and implementation of health care proxies and durable general powers of attorney.

1. Know the limitations

New York law has some limits on who might need a guardian. Namely, an adult would have to be both:

  • Unable to care for property or personal needs
  • Likely to come to harm because of that inability

You cannot decide this for yourself. A court has to issue a decision.

2. Talk it out

If you have the opportunity, you might want to talk about guardianship with parents or grandparents before it becomes necessary. If not, then talking about it with other family members might be helpful.

3. Decide who would be the guardian

Both people and organizations might take a guardian role. If possible, you might want to consider a few candidates for a loved one and establish a backup plan.

4. Learn more about the role

If you believe that the court will award guardianship — and if you intend to be the guardian — then you might want to learn more. This could help you perform better in the role and set more realistic expectations.

5. Choose the type of guardianship

Judges can assign guardians to help with any combination of personal needs and property needs. Matching your loved one’s needs to the requests in your case could help make the process more predictable.

Any incapacity would just be your opinion at the beginning of your case. To assign you the legal power to help your elders, the court must first hear convincing evidence and testimony. It is important to work with competent legal counsel on any guardianship proceedings.


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