CLE: ‘Preparing Discharge Applications in NY Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Proceedings’ on August 27, 2020

CLE: ‘Preparing Discharge Applications in NY Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Proceedings’ on August 27, 2020

Daniel J. Reiter, Esq. will be teaching a Continuing Legal Education course on Preparing Discharge Applications in NY Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 Proceedings on August 27, 2020 at 3:30pm.

The course will be hosted by LawLine and will be streamed live via webcast.

You can sign up for the program by registering on the LawLine website.

Course Description

This program will review the process of discharging a guardian in a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 proceeding – i.e., ending the guardianship or facilitating the appointment of a successor guardian. The course will give a practical overview of how to prepare a discharge application, governing law, how the process differs from county to county, and other court customs. The instructor will discuss the plethora of reasons a guardian (or their ward) may seek discharge of the guardian, including regaining mental capacity, death of the incapacitated person, the transfer of a ward to a nursing home when the guardian is a community guardian program, discharge for wrongdoing, and other purposes.

Presented by Daniel J. Reiter, Esq., this program will benefit article 81 guardians, and attorneys representing article 81 guardians and incapacitated persons seeking discharge of their guardian.

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss what it means to “discharge” the guardian
  • Identify situations where the guardian should or must be discharged
  • Assess the reasons guardians are discharged
  • Facilitate the appointment of a successor guardian
  • Prepare and file the appropriate papers in court to effectuate discharge
  • Review various steps in the discharge process
  • Navigate the various idiosyncrasies and differing customs of different courts and judges
  • Start a discharge application
  • Confidently move for a discharge

You can sign up for the program by registering on the LawLine website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

If I petition to have a guardian appointed in a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 proceeding, will I have to serve as guardian?

No. Even if you are the “petitioner” – the person who is asking the judge to appoint a guardian – you can ask the judge to appoint someone else. If there are no family or friends willing and able to serve, the judge can appoint a non-profit organization or “independent” professional guardian to serve.

My disabled child is about to turn 18. Am I automatically able to make decisions for them when they turn 18?

No (except for limited exceptions). In New York, parents are the natural guardians of their children until age 18. However, once a child reaches 18, even if they are developmentally or intellectually disabled, a parent cannot automatically make decisions for their adult child. Guardianship is often necessary for developmentally and intellectually disabled adults who do not have capacity to manage their own affairs without assistance.

If I am appointed guardian, can I force my ward to take psychiatric medication?

Although most guardians are authorized to make routine and non-routine medical decisions on behalf of their ward, the administration of psychiatric medication to a person who objects requires special authorization from a judge, even if you were already appointed guardian.

How long does it take to get a guardian appointed and authorized to act in a Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 proceeding?

There is no set time. However, from the time counsel is retained, it usually takes about 2-4 months total for the guardian to begin acting. However, if a guardian is needed immediately, the judge can appoint a “temporary guardian” while everything gets sorted out. This speeds up the process.

What is the difference between a guardian and a conservator?

Generally, none. New York used to use the terms conservator (today’s version of guardian of the property) and committee (today’s version of guardian of the person). Many states still use the term conservator, but the concept is the same.

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