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Guardianship Attorney NYC: Offering Custom Guardianship Solutions

Facts: Roughly 8 million people in the country have a sort of intellectual disability that needs the presence of a guardian. Out of these 425,000 are kids.

When dealing with a sensitive situation that is potentially life changing, you need expert guardianship attorney NYC advice to handle the situation. We offer a customized solution to assist you handle the guardianship the best way possible.

Some law firms have a lot of work and turn cases over very fast. We use a different vision at our law firm to handle cases in Washington Heights. We understand the stresses that come with losing control over your child or a family member and we make sure we help you do this the right way. We treat you like a human and help you to get a guardian o deal with guardianship litigation issues that crop up.

Understanding Guardianship

As a parent, you need to secure the needs of their kids is one of the best decisions you can ever make. One of the steps towards this is appointing a legal guardian. This is a person that you give the authority to make decisions and take actions on behalf of your children, or on behalf of an adult that cannot make responsible decisions on their own. However, you need to note that the guardianship is a legal aspect that needs to be handled by an expert. As such, it is vital that you work with a guardianship lawyer that can guide you through the different legalities.

Types of Legal Guardians

Preneed Guardian

An adult with a capacity might select the person to serve as a guardian way in advance, so that they have a person that can do the task when they become incapacitated in the future. This is usually done in writing, preferably in a will. The individual will express the decision and sign it in front of two witnesses present at the same time.

This application has to be filed in court.

Emergency Temporary Guardian

If a person is in immediate danger and needs guardianship, then the court can come up with a temporary emergency guardianship for them. One such situation is when the person’s individual property is in danger of getting lost or wasted.

Limited Guardian

This s where the individual is partially incapacitated and has the ability to make some decisions, but not all. The guardian has the capacity to take only specific actions that are decided by the probate court.

All these guardianship types can be either to the person or to the estate.

For the guardianship process to run smoothly, you have to start somewhere, just like any other legal process that you have ever performed. Many people don’t have the knowledge to begin the process, and this makes it hard for them. Let us look at the process that you need to go through to make the guardianship not just complete, but a success as well.

Before you file the forms for legal guardianship, you need to have the following information as well as documents:

  • The names and contacts of the living relatives of the person. These can be the parents (if any are surviving), the grandparents both on the maternal and paternal side, any siblings, any legal guardian and the adult with whom the person is living with.
  • If either of the parents is deceased, then you need to provide copies of the death certificates. If you don’t have the copies of the death certificates, you can get them in the state where the parents passed away.
  • If you are after the guardianship because you have been named as a guardian in the will after a person died, then you will need a copy of the will.
  • If you are to be a guardian to the estate, then you need to have copies of documents that relate to the person or the ones that the person needs to inherit. These include bank accounts, life insurance policies and real estate.
  • You need to have copies of court documents that relate to the person. These include pending custody, marriage dissolution forms, juvenile or adoption court proceedings, and any other information that have been filed.
  • If you claim that the natural father of the person isn’t known, then you need to provide a copy of the original birth certificate of the person to prove this. You can get the copy from the birth records office in the state where the person was born.

This process comes with a lot of paperwork that you need to file the right way. Documentation is usually a good thing and it allows you to be on point when you are asked for particular information. So, make sure that you establish a storage system. It is usually frustrating when you lose a vital part of the information that you need in a guardianship process. You can come over to a guardianship attorney NYC office to get an idea of what you need to do.

Choosing a Legal Guardian for a Disabled Person

Parents who have disabled children usually have to decide on their children’s care when they cannot provide it. Usually, this is about selecting a legal guardian under whose care the disabled child will be entrusted. The legal guardian will have the duty of attending to the child’s needs and making decisions on their behalf as the parents would have.

Essentially, the guardian that is chosen is stipulated in the parent’s last will. However, a judge is the one that has the prerogative of appointing the actual guardian. The judge understands that a parent would always wish the best for their child and hence will consider their proposal of a preferred guardian.

Therefore, one must be able to choose a guardian who will serve to guide the judge in deciding that reflects your best interest in leaving a disabled child in the best care possible. The things to consider when hiring a guardian include;

Do Not Rush To Choose But Do Not Wait Too Long

Taking a step to try and select a suitable guardian is not a trivial decision. It touches on the child’s very life and overall well-being, particularly in the unknown days to come. It is, therefore, a process that needs the dedication of time and effort.

However, it does not mean one has to stress over it and miss catching sleep. It just starts with identifying and listing candidates that, according to you, could potentially be suitable for appointment.

Proceed to eliminate those that you can find a reason to believe do not represent your ideal choice of a guardian. In your elimination exercise, you have to be careful not to look for someone you want to substitute for a parent. You are not going to find someone that can measure up to the shoes of a parent. Do not make it an overly rigorous exercise. Think with ease and retain a few competitors that seem to be mutually exclusive.

Meeting with Potential Guardians

Those that are shortlisted can proceed to the stage where you organize a talk with them. You separately invite out each for an evening of coffee. You will converse with them and explain your intention to appoint them as guardians and ascertain their willingness to serve.

Make the candidates comfortable and do not put them in the corner to compel them to accept your choice of them as guardians. Statements like “you the only one I can count on and I cannot think of someone else” may pressure the candidate. Allow them to ask questions and to express their fears and sensitivities. Have the allowance to leave them with the time to think the proposition over and revert later if one so desires.

This conversation will further lead to eliminations, as some will even fail to get back. Others will outright decline to serve as guardians. After meeting and talking to them and eliminating, narrow down to the one that you really want.

You will look at how familiar one is with your child and their needs. You want someone who already has a prior understanding of the child and is enthusiastic about helping whatever way they can. Assess the candidate’s financial stability to ensure that they are responsible and cannot be looking for an opportunity such as guardianship to swindle funds for their benefit.

You also want a person that has a nature of advocacy for the less privileged. They will be more willing to listen and focus on promoting your child’s independence instead of reinforcing their limitation. It should be a person that also takes an interest in your child’s future and can bring certain advantages such as networks of how to get your child the help they need. This could even be a person who can pull strings in the system, benefitting your child.

Ensure that you follow the selection process by evaluating each candidate based on these qualities of merit, among others. This will lead you to one candidate that you feel can serve.

When circumstances change, the chosen guardian can always be changed. One does not have to fear about a guardian relocating, or attributes for which the guardian was chosen changing. You can review and appoint another guardian as and when it is deemed necessary. What is essential is to ensure that a guardian is selected at the earliest opportunity. This is better than leaving it all up to chance.

The Role of the Probate Court

The probate court is here to make sure that all the laws that pertain to guardianship are followed.

In New York, we have only two types of proceedings:

  • The Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Article 17-A
  • Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) Article 8

The two proceedings are nearly the same – they are based on the proper findings of the court to appoint a guardian that will take care of the personal needs of the individual. However, there are significant differences between the two.

Article 17-A

This proceeding applies to individuals that are intellectually challenged or developmentally disabled. When the court proves this, it can appoint a guardian to take care of the person, his property or both. The court can appoint multiple guardians to these roles.

This article is broad and it encompasses most of the decisions that are made by a parent to the child such as healthcare and financial decisions. Usually, parents that are interested in the individual will petition to get the guardianship.

The petition has to be accompanied by certification from a physician that the person has an intellectual or developmental disability that needs a guardian to be present.

MHL Article 81

This article is used when the person is incapacitated. The determination is based on the evidence that the person might suffer harm because they cannot provide for themselves. Additionally, it is applicable when the person cannot understand the consequences of the incapacity.

All guardianship cases are handled in the probate court. All the courts in different counties usually follow basic procedures when handling guardianships. However, the rules can change across the different courts in various counties. You can get a copy of the rules in the probate policy manual at the clerk’s office.

Filing for Guardianship

You need to file for guardianship in the county where the person has been staying. If you are applying for guardianship for the estate of the person, then you need to file the petition in the state where he owns property. When we talk about property, we mean the assets that have been left behind by the parents to the person. The assets include land, vehicles, jewelry, bank accounts and others.

The good thing is that the guardianship proceedings can be started in one county then get transferred to another one depending on the situation. For instance, if you decide to relocate to another county, then you have to transfer the proceedings to that county.

Getting Information as You Need It

In most of the courts, you will get the information about the procedures. The clerks understand what happens in these courts and have the rules that are needed. The clerk will not give you any legal advice; rather, he will answer any questions that you have about the procedure. You can either call the clerk or visit them physically.

Filing Papers with the Court

Well, when it comes to filing papers with the court, you need to follow a few tips that will allow you to meet the deadlines as well as the guidelines. Remember that every paper that you deliver to the court, the clerk will record it and make it part of the official document for the case.

If you live out of Washington Heights, you can work with our expert guardianship attorney NYC team to file the papers on your behalf.

The Number of Copies Matter

Usually the court requires various copies to use when it comes to filing documents. This means that you need to have the original copy of the document (this remains at the clerk’s office) and some clerks need more than that single copy – you need to consult with the clerk to know how many copies are needed and handle them as necessary.

You might have to mail or take the papers in person to the clerk. Either way, make sure you retain a copy at home in a safe place so that in case the papers are misplaced or lost, you have a backup. Depending on the document at hand, you might have to make several copies so that you serve them to various agencies and institutions. It is always better to have more copies than ending up with none at all when the time comes.

Filing the Documents

You can file the documents with the court by simply handing them across the counter or mailing them to the address of the clerk’s office. Gong personally to the office is an advantage because it gives you a chance to rectify any mistake that you have made in the document. However, if going to the court might be an inconvenience to you, you can just mail the documents to the clerk’s office.

When you decide to send the documents by mail, and then make sure you have a copy at home. This copy will be prudent when the document gets lost in the mail.

Once you file the documents with the court, you are assigned a case number by the clerk. The case number needs to be displayed on all the documents that you file with the court. This is just a system that the court uses to keep track of the cases, and it will be refereed to when any information is required. In case you need information regarding the case, all you need is to give the clerk the case number.

Modifying the Information in Filed Documents

At times, you can file the papers with the clerk of the court only to find that you made a mistake. This can be a serious error or you just want to change a few wordings on the documents. The court allows you to file another document that replaces the original one. You can use the same title as the original document then add the word “amended” before the title.

There are various situations when you will be forced to amend a document:

  • The situation or the facts have changed substantially after you have filed the document with the clerk’s office.
  • You notice that you made a serious error on the document after you have filed it.
  • After filing the document, you realize that there are some proceedings that affect the person and haven’t been included in the petition that you submitted. Every court gives you some time to amend the petition. Make sure you ask the clerk about this period so that you meet the deadline.

Stopping the Guardianship Proceedings

At times you find that you don’t want the role of being a guardian anymore, or the situation has changed and you no longer need the role anymore. As long as you haven’t been formally appointed as a guardian, you can dismiss the process by requesting dismissal. Utilize our guardianship attorney NYC services to know when to stop the proceedings and whether your reasons are valid.

Here is a procedure that you need to follow when it comes to dismissing the guardianship application:

File a Request for Dismissal

You need to file a form that requests you to dismiss the request for guardianship. The clerk of the court will give you a preprinted form or will guide you on what to do so that you file for the dismissal.

What if you have already obtained a hearing date for the process? Well, all you need is to call the court early enough and cancel the hearing date before it can take place. The case will be taken off the calendar. At times, you also have to send a letter to the court to confirm that indeed you desire to have the hearing date cancelled.

This process only covers the process when the guardianship hasn’t been granted to you. If on the other hand you have already been assigned the guardianship, you need to get the permission of the court to resign as the guardian or to end the process altogether.

At times you need more time to think it out before the petition of the guardianship. In such a case, then you can petition the court to give you more time, and give you a tentative hearing date.

Do You Need to Pay for The Process?

The moment you file the guardianship documents, you need to pay a fee that is determined by the clerk of the court. The costs will vary, and at times you might have to pay more especially when the process needs an investigation. For non relatives that are petitioning to become guardians, then an investigation is usually necessary. The good thing is that the court can decide to waive the fees especially when they determine that you aren’t able to pay the fees in totality.

Sending Notices to the Person’s Relatives

We all know that most guardianships aren’t contested, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to notify the relatives about what you are planning to do. This is the reason why you need to let the relatives know about the proceedings early in advance. You have to main the copies of the documents early in advance, at least 20 days before the date of the hearing.

Before you notify the relatives, you need to come up with a list of all the people that are linked in one way or another to the person. For some, you might have to locate them before you send them the notices. If you try to locate them without any success, then you can fill a form that states that you attempted to locate them without any success at all.

After you locate the relatives, the next step is to obtain the signatures from the parents of the persons, that is if they are willing.

Confident game on the legal field. We will protect you from problems!


Marianna Schwartsman

Why Choose to Work with Us

Getting the best guardianship attorney NYC representation in Washington Heights is a crucial step towards assigning the right guardian for your loved one. The court is normally assigned the responsibility of establishing guardianship when a beneficiary is disabled or incapacitated.

At our practice, we value creating close relationships with each of our clients. It is only through understanding your family ties or business relations better that we can offer you the best legal services that you deserve.

Choosing our firm provides you with several benefits at once. You do not want to end up working with an attorney that does not have experience or knowledge in handling guardianship matters. As our client, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the following:

We Deliver Effective Results

Our services are considered the most effective within the region. We provide you with strategies that are not only comprehensive but also budget-friendly. We customize our solutions to fit both large and small businesses as well as individuals seeking efficient representation and litigation advice.

We are always committed to providing you with options that present measurable value. Simply put, we work with the outcome of your case in mind. We allow you to communicate your expectations and meet directly with our guardianship attorneys for more effective guidance.

Our lawyers give you both dedicated and undivided personal attention. This explains why we have remained in operation for many years. We possess a track record of meeting the needs of our clients.

Our team of guardianship attorneys has earned a great reputation when it comes to handling complex cases. We ensure timely delivery of each milestone of your case and pride in making our clients happy.

We Offer Prompt Services

Over the years, we have come to understand the need of responding to our clients promptly. We always reply to your enquiries within a few hours and do not restrict you from reaching out to us any time you feel like doing so.

We listen carefully to your needs and start working on your case as soon as we receive full instructions from you. We ensure delivery of every piece of our work with the highest level of professionalism.

Our attorneys are adequately trained and equipped to offer solutions to the most challenging guardianship situations. We always ensure that each of them is skilled enough to handle all manner of clients.

We are always proud of the fact that the majority of our clients come from referrals. We have always built the confidence of our clients around our ability to deliver results on time.

We Possess Years of Accumulated Knowledge

Deciding to work with our practice means that you will get a dedicated attorney to handle your case. Our guardianship attorneys have been trained to work as a team. The effective way through which they keep sharing information ensures that you benefit from the best professionals with the best skill set.

Although you may only be served by one guardianship attorney, there is always a team of legal experts working with them in the background to deliver the best solution.

While placing your future and the future of a loved one in the hands of an attorney, you want to make sure that you are working with someone who has the requisite experience.

Our practice has been in operation for many years – meaning that our staff has vast experience in handling all types of guardianship cases. We have some of the top-ranked legal professionals working at our firm and these are always committed to meet your interests.

We Offer Great Convenience

We understand that our clients are already dealing with enough legal issues and do not need any additional hassles when working with us. We have a convenient office where you can always visit for assistance.

Whenever you approach us with a challenging situation, we do all we can to make your experience a positive one. We do not discriminate against any of our clients, and our pride is in offering the necessary care you need.

We listen to your concerns attentively as a way of establishing the best course of action. We understand how stressful coming in contact with the legal system can be. We, therefore, ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the process, from the first time you contact us until your guardianship issue is resolved.

Once you become our client, we do not treat you as a stranger. We take time to know you – your worries, hopes, and expectations. We can only apply our knowledge and experience effectively after understanding your case and what it entails.

We Care About the Outcome

We do not neglect your emotions during the process. Our legal team is made up of friendly staff that is always willing to support you in whichever way possible.

We always strive to lift the emotional burden of the entire process off your shoulders. When meeting our clients, we do not ignore the fact that they may be undergoing a rough time. We always listen to their concerns keenly and if possible, offer the best legal advice on the way forward.

Previously, we have worked with clients who had undergone some form of trauma. By working with us, these clients have testified later on that they were able to receive the kind of support they needed.

We always put you first. We understand that it is our responsibility to help you.

We Can Handle Special Circumstances

We have always been lifesavers in cases that are surrounded by exceptional circumstances. For instance, if your child is considered an adult legally, but has a mental or physical challenge, the court may decide to place them in an institution in case nobody is capable of taking over as their guardian.

Even worse, the child may be having special medical conditions that pose a lot of demand for their caregiver. In such a case, it may be difficult to settle on a guardian.

We always step in during such circumstances to ensure that your wishes are met accordingly. The outcome of such cases is always paramount to us. Our practice is dedicated to finding the best solution for these cases.

We understand that you have goals that need to be settled, and are always keen to ensure that you attain them.

We Have a Trusted Team

Every guardianship attorney on our team is straightforward and genuine. We always take time to explain the legal process involved in your case. We also highlight the possible outcomes and give you enough options to select from at each stage of the process.

We explain each action that we carry out on your behalf to ensure that you remain updated on the progress of your guardianship. We have a history of winning cases on behalf of our clients for many decades now.

Our team is familiar with the probate courts in the region as well as the staff, judges, and other important court staff. They are all skilled at both mediation and litigations strategies.

We have also mastered the art of using a tactical approach for every case. We are always determined to fight for you and in most cases; we deliver results without having to go to court.

We Offer Peace of Mind

After consulting us for the first time, most of our clients have said that they were able to relax after a long time. We are always proud to give you peace of mind and treat you with the respect you deserve.

We aim at providing you with the best service that you could recommend to others. In case you are unhappy or concerned about the quality of our work, you can always inform us so that we make the necessary adjustments and resolve any problems on your behalf.

If you are unable to resolve any complaints with the guardianship attorney assigned to your case, you can always visit our office or contact us directly for more assistance.

We Are Affordable

We always provide cost-effective solutions to individuals and businesses alike. Our approach is always straightforward and we are always free to discuss our charges during the initial meeting.

We do not introduce any hidden fees to the initial quote and always strive to keep any other expenses at a minimum. We also limit the time spent on appointments and consultations and by doing this; we ensure that the costs reduce significantly.

Ordinary court procedures such as establishing guardianship petitions can now be completed within a short period. We always avoid adding unnecessary activities to our representation.

Most of the clients we have served can testify of our low fees. The fact that we do not charge huge amounts does not mean that our services are substandard. It only means that we care about our clients and are always ready to support them without digging holes in their pockets.

Despite being affordable, our services still rank among the best when it comes to service quality. We encourage our clients to always look at the bigger picture instead of focusing on how cheap our solutions are.

Deciding to work with us as your guardianship attorneys ensures that you get the best. Our goal is to help you make informed legal decisions all the time.

How we work:

Our usual process

Step 1 – Contact

Our work begins with your phone call during which we assess your situation and determine the area of expertise best designed to the specifics of your legal matter.

Step 2 – Review and Analysis

After the first phone interview your situation is further thoroughly examined by a team of our legal experts to find the optimal legal instruments applicable to your situation.

Step 3 – Additional Screening

To ensure the best possible outcome your situation undergoes an additional screening for all potential conflicts of interests. After the receipt of the clearance we reach out to you with our proposal.

Step 4– Work Ethics

We believe in open communication offering our clients constant updates and engaging them in the work process by encouraging them to share their feedback about their work experience with us.

Step 5 – Results

We are proud of delivering the results according to our agreement with our clients.

1. Communication with the client.

Every day, our experts are ready to advise you for free!

2. Problem analysis

After providing legal advice and analysis of your documents.

3. Performance of work

The work process of our company’s specialists is based on complete transparency and constant informing of the client.

4. Positive result

After the court has satisfied your claims

5. Your rating, our work

Then we deliver the specified documents to you at a convenient time for you

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Frequently Asked Questions

A guardian is someone who has been legally designated the role of protecting and taking care of an individual and their rights. This is mostly caused by the fact that the person cannot make rational decisions on their own due to one reason or the other. Some of these decisions circle around the child’s education, health, and moral responsibility.

The guardian is restricted by certain rules of law, which means that they can go against the guardianship agreement under no circumstances. It also means that whatever decision they make must be for the benefit of the individual.

In most states, a guardian is appointed by a judge from a court of law. This is handled by the probate section, which deals a lot with family matters. However, the process is mostly done for minors who didn’t have a guardian named by their biological parents.

Most people name guardians to their children through a will, which is implemented at their death by the court. A will is a legal document which is given priority over any other document that might come up. In the absence of a will, the court will do its due diligence and decide whom to give guardianship over a minor.

When making an application to be a guardian, the agreement comes with specific roles that you need to adhere to the latter:

  • You take responsibility for the safety and well-being of the person under your care. This is like taking on a parental role, even when the child is not yours or related to you by blood.
  • Making sure that the person has access to education, medical care, and all other basic needs, which include food, clothing, and shelter.
  • In the case of minors, the guardian is responsible for nurturing their religious and moral behaviors, so they turn out to be responsible adults.
  • Making financial decisions on behalf of the person. Guardians often take care of minors who are under 18 years of age. This means they are not capable of making any financial decisions independently.
  • In some cases, the guardian is also in charge of controlling the person’s assets. If the child has an inheritance, for example, it can only be managed by an adult, who, in this case, will be the guardian.

When picking a guardian for your children, there are some factors to consider so that you can make sure that they are under the care of the right person.

Here are a few elements to consider:

  • The person’s relationship with your child. Do they love your children or not? Are your children comfortable around them? The relationship between these two will determine whether to trust them with your child.
  • How responsible is this person? Do they have the capability of taking care of the children? Some people can either be too busy or even lack the financial muscles to take on the responsibility of taking care of children.
  • Consider a person’s moral and religious standing. Are you aligned and believe in the same things? If not, it will be a difficult transition for the child.
  • They have to be adults of legal age and who you are sure can take on the role.  
  • The home environment of the individual – it has to be a place that your children will be comfortable and close to other friends and relatives.  
  • Consider their health status. If they are not well or have a certain medical condition, it might hinder them from performing their duties well.

Yes. The only difference is they will start performing their role when you are incapable of doing it yourself. Most people appoint guardians in their will while still alive just to cover any loopholes if something tragic happens.

In most cases, the guardian will take on the role when you die or when you cannot take care of your children due to various reasons. Because they provide day to day care for the child, it would not be necessary for the guardian to start performing these roles when the biological parents are still of sound mind and capable of doing it themselves.

The positive thing about doing this early enough is you can intentionally have your children build a positive relationship with the guardian to have a smooth transition when the time comes.

It comes a time when you have to get a guardian or reject one. When this time comes, you need to have a way to handle the issue right away. Call us today to talk to a lawyer that has the best outcomes in Brooklyn.