Every New York Article 81 Guardianship Proceeding involves its own unique set of facts and circumstances.
These variables encompass things such as the nature and extent of the alleged incapacity, the relationship between the Alleged Incapacitated Person ("AIP") and his or her relatives, companions and friends; the assets and income available to the AIP; the existence, availability and use or abuse of Advance Directives such as a Power of Attorney; and emergency situations that may have an immediate impact on the AIP such as a medical crisis or legal proceeding in the form of a foreclosure or landlord-tenant summary eviction proceeding.
When a Guardianship proceeding is started, the first document that is prepared and presented to the Court is the Petition. New York Mental Hygiene Law Section 81.08 provides details as to the information that is required to be provided in the Petition. These items include basic data such as the name, age, address and telephone number of the AIP, as well as similar information regarding the Petitioner, any persons with whom the AIP resides, and the AIP's next of kin.
Most importantly, the Petition also sets forth more substantive information dealing with a description of the AIP's functional level, ability to manage activities of daily living and the powers that the Guardian is seeking.
Essentially, the Petition provides the means by which the Petitioner can tell the story about the AIP and why the AIP needs a Guardian and why the Court should appoint the Petitioner to be the Guardian. All of the relevant information regarding the Guardianship case as initially presented by the Petitioner should be set forth clearly and succintly. The Petition is the first document which the Court and all the parties involved in the proceeding will receive and read. Thus, the Petition sets the tone for the proceeding and the groundwork for the appointment of a Guardian.
Additionally, in the event that the AIP's assets are being improperly handled or misappropriated or the AIP is in danger of being evicted from his or her home, the Petition can request temporary and immediate relief in the form of a Temporary Guardian, the freezing of assets or a Court Ordered injunction.
I am a New York Guardianship attorney and have helped and represented clients in Guardianship proceedings for over 30 years. I work extensively with each client to develop and present a Petition that will inform the Court and parties regarding the AIP's circumstances and accentuate the need for the appointment of Petitioner as Guardian. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance regarding a New York Article 81 Guardianship matter or have any questions regarding such proceedings, please contact me at (212) 355-2575.