NYC Adult Guardianship Lawyer

Adult Guardianship

Adult guardianship is an important legal tool used to assist mentally incapacitated adults who are unable to make important life or financial decisions on their own. Guardianship of an adult allows a family member or other responsible party to step i…

Contesting Guardianship

If you are considering contesting an adult guardianship proceeding in New York, or are defending a contest, experienced New York adult guardianship attorney Daniel J. Reiter is ready to tirelessly advocate for you. When Are Guardianship Proceedings C…

Establishing Guardianship

Individuals who don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves may need someone to step in and help. By establishing guardianship, known in some states as conservatorship, you can assist a loved one who needs help making financial,…

Help for Adult Guardians

Acting as a guardian for an adult can be challenging and often presents complicated legal questions. Working with an experienced adult guardianship attorney can help you get clarity, resolve legal issues, and ensure that you are in compliance with th…

Help for Care Facilities

Helping Nursing Homes and Hospitals Petition for Guardianship Nursing homes and hospitals often provide care to mentally incapacitated adults who are unable to make their own decisions about finances, healthcare, or other personal matters. In some ca…

Kinship Proceedings

Many people in New York die without a will. Furthermore, some people pass away without close living relatives and it isn’t immediately clear to the judge overseeing their estate who is entitled to inherit. When that happens, it becomes necessary to…

NY Kinship Process

When a New York resident dies without a valid last will and testament, state law determines who is entitled to receive the deceased person’s property. In these cases, the New York Surrogate’s Court appoints an estate administrator to distribute e…

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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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What Our Clients Say

“Daniel Reiter is an honest attorney. He handled my brother’s estate with professionalism, diligence, and sensitivity. … I would recommend him highly!”
– Former Client
“Our experience with Daniel was great. … We highly recommend Daniel for anyone needing a strong, competent, and honest attorney.”
– Former Client
“Daniel is extremely thorough, very easy to deal with, he invests time to make sure that the issues are understood and clear.”
– Former Client
“Daniel is a true professional who takes pride in doing good work.”
– Former Client