Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) contain the various provisions regarding the appointment of a Guardian for a person who is incapacitated. The main title of this Article is “Proceedings For Appointment of A Guardian For Personal Needs or Property Management”.
The various sections of the statute provide both the procedure and the substantive law regarding Guardianship cases. As can be seen from the title, the Court can appoint either a Guardian for property management or to assist with a person’s personal needs. In most cases the Court will appoint both types. The appointment very often will be for one person who then acts in both capacities. MHL section 81.21 sets forth the powers of the property Guardian while MHL section 81.22 details the personal needs powers.
Many of the Guardianship cases concern issues dealing with a Power of Attorney. Sometimes, a person who was appointed as an agent under a Power does not act properly or abuses his authority. When a Guardianship proceeding is commenced the Court may be asked to review the agent’s actions. Such review is important since the Court needs to determine wither a Guardian is required to try and recoup funds that were wrongfully administered.