The number of guardianship cases in 2022 according to the New York State Unified Court System records was over 15,500.
In this bustling state, the need for guardianship can arise in various circumstances.
Minor with an inheritance
A minor who unexpectedly inherits a significant sum from an estate may require a guardian not only for their person but also for their newfound wealth. New York recognizes the need to safeguard the interests of those under the age of 18. A guardianship in this situation helps to ensure wise management of their inheritance until they reach the age of majority.
Intellectual or development disabled adult
There may be a need for guardianship for an individual born with or who develops an intellectual or developmental disability once he or she reaches the age of majority. The law gives parents legal guardianship over their minor children. However, when a person reaches the age of 18, the law says they are an adult, even if they have a disability. In such cases, the appointment of a guardian becomes essential to ensure continued support and protection for these individuals as they navigate adulthood.
In the event an adult loses the capacity to make sound decisions through injury or disease, such as a traumatic brain injury or an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, he or she may need a guardian. The legal system acknowledges the necessity of stepping in to preserve dignity and ensure safety in the face of unforeseen health challenges.
New York law takes appointing a guardian very seriously. The process requires ensuring the individual maintains as much independence as possible while balancing the safeguarding of his or her well-being.