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New York Attorneys Represent Clients Seeking Legal Guardianship

Accomplished White Plains lawyers help clients protect children and adults

When you believe that legal intervention might be necessary to protect the well-being of a child or disabled adult in New York, a lawyer with experience in New York guardianship proceedings can explain the relevant standards. At Carton & Rosoff PC in White Plains, we counsel clients who seek to secure legal authority when a child is orphaned, neglected or mistreated. Our accomplished lawyers also handle matters involving adults who require assistance handling their personal needs and/or financial affairs.

Established firm assists those who wish to assume parental responsibilities

Parents usually have the legal authority to make decisions concerning their children who are under 18 years of age. However, death, illness, neglect, substance abuse or some other factor can create a situation where it is no longer appropriate for a child to be under the care of their parents. In these sensitive matters, we give clients comprehensive legal counsel on state laws referring to:

  • Petition for Appointment of a Guardian — A Petition for Appointment of a Guardian can be filed in Surrogate’s Court. Living parents who have the requisite capacity and children who are at least 14 years of age or older must consent to the appointment.
  • Effect of testamentary documents — Parents should take the time to address who will care for their minor sons and daughters in the event that the children are orphaned. Testamentary documents such as wills are considered by the Surrogate’s Court in guardianship matters, but the judge has the authority to overrule the parents’ choice if he or she believes it is in the child’s best interests.
  • Standby guardianship — In situations that call for someone to assume temporary care for a child, New York law allows for standby guardianship to be formalized in Family Court. Usually, a standby guardian is named by an existing parent or legal guardian to handle legal authority for a child during an illness, period of incarceration, immigration problem or some other circumstance.

Regardless of the specific nature of your case, our accomplished family lawyers provide exceptional advice and advocacy so that you can address your loved one’s special needs and demonstrate to the court that you are taking appropriate actions.

Thorough advocates assist with adult guardianship proceedings

In some instances, old age or a disability prevents an adult from making sound decisions about their finances or personal care. To alleviate the situation, a family member can petition to serve as that individual’s Guardian for Personal Needs. Under Article 81 of New York State’s Mental Hygiene Law, the person who is granted legal authority can be authorized to make important decisions on matters affecting the ward’s well-being such as:

  • Residence
  • Medical decisions
  • Home care and other potential accommodations
  • Education and/or job training
  • Driving and transportation arrangements

Our firm explains the relevant legal standards and prepares the materials you need to make the strongest possible case for guardianship. It’s important to remember that guardianship should be limited to those areas where the ward requires assistance and should not unduly infringe upon their freedom.

If someone is not able to make appropriate financial decisions, someone close to them can apply to the Surrogate’s Court or Supreme Court to be named as Guardian for Property Management. Upon appointment, guardians must avoid comingling the ward’s funds with their own funds and must be prudent about how they expend assets belonging to their ward. Key tasks for these types of guardians can include:

  • Establishing bank accounts
  • Completely documenting the ward’s income and investments
  • Applying for any available public benefits
  • Ensuring that the ward’s taxes and other bills are paid

Don’t hesitate to take the first step if you’re concerned about someone’s capacity to handle monetary tasks properly. We will work diligently to set up a guardianship that benefits the ward and gives you peace of mind.

Contact a compassionate White Plains lawyer about your guardianship issue

Carton & Rosoff PC works on behalf of New York clients on legal guardianship matters relating to children and adults. Our White Plains firm represents clients in Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess and Putnam counties as well as Manhattan and the Bronx. If you seek counsel on this or another family law concern, please call 914-949-6700 or contact us online.

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  • White Plains Office
    150 Grand Street
    Suite 305
    White Plains, New York 10601
    Phone: 914-949-6700
    Fax: 914-381-7158
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