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Top Guardianship Lawyer Queens Practice: We Have Extensive Experience Helping People Like You
Facts: People with special needs, such as the disabled, have similar general healthcare needs like anyone else.
At our law firm we have handled guardianship cases for years now we have extensive experience handling different situations for both older and young persons. If you are handling a guardianship process and you need help planning for it, then our law firm is here to help you.
Being the guardian of a person can be a huge task if you aren’t prepared. This is why it is vital that you consider a few aspects of becoming a guardian before you make the perfect choice.
What is a Guardianship?
A guardianship refers to a legal mechanism that is usually done through the probate court in Queens, which usually appoints a person, persons or a public entity to make decisions for the person that is incapacitated. However, for guardianship to stand, you as the proposed appointee must demonstrate to the court that the ward isn’t able to make decisions on their own or in a responsible manner.
The guardian has the rights to make decisions on behalf of the guardian, even when the decisions aren’t the right ones for them.
The guardian has control over the residence of the ward, how money is to be spent, the type of medical treatment to be received and more.
Types of Guardianships
There are two main types of guardianships that are further broken down into categories. The first is the guardianship of the person, which is basically the act of taking care of the person’s needs right from food to medication. The other one is the guardianship of the estate, whereby you manage the estate of the incapacitated person and make decisions on his behalf.
These are then divided into temporary and permanent – whereby you can handle the guardianship for a short time or a longer time. Choosing the best guardianship depends on the need of the ward and the circumstances.
Do You Really Want to be a Guardian?
This is an obvious question that you need to ask yourself before you take any steps towards establishing a guardianship. The role that you are taking up will depend so much on the circumstances that are surrounding the role. If everyone that is involved in the family agrees, for instance when you are the only person remaining that can take care of the person, then you will have no option but to be the guardian.
On the other hand, if the family isn’t ready to let go or there are family issues that are stopping anyone from taking care of the person, then you need to make sure you utilize our guardianship lawyer Queens team to understand what to do next. You need to also do some research so that you find out if there is someone that is determined to go to court to challenge the petition to be named the guardian.
Make sure you consider all options before you make the decision to go through the procedure.
Are you willing to take up the ongoing responsibilities that come with being a legal guardian – including the ability to take up the responsibility of the actions by the person? If you don’t have the heart to take up the obligations, then you need to look up some alternatives to the guardianships.
Can You Manage Estates?
For those that seek to handle the guardianships of the estate, you need to be willing to manage the assets of the person continuously and in a way that you won’t be careless. We have seen guardians that have ended up losing the funds that have been left behind for the person, which in turn made them get prosecuted.
The court expects you to manage the assets, have an inventory and perform periodic account audits. You also need to ask for permission from the court when it comes to making use of the assets.
The Kind of Personal Relationship You Have With the Family
You might be given the capacity to be a guardian, but if you aren’t in good terms with the person, then your role will get a huge beating. Given the nature of your relationship, you need to decide if you want to be the legal guardian of the person for a long time.
Additionally, you also need to look at your family, especially your kids, job, health situation, age and any other factors. You also need to look at the kind of work that is involved and whether you have the time and energy to watch over the person and the assets as well. Do you have the energy that will allow you to take care of the person and the assets?
When you are trying to get guardianship for a person that has relatives, you need to anticipate problems with them. If he was abandoned, then you might realize suddenly that the patent reappears and might contest the guardianship. Well, although it is a rare case, it can still happen. Issues that touch on your background can also crop up and might end up disqualifying you from the whole arrangement. They might also be used to have you removed as a guardian.
Your Financial Situation
Now that you understand the kind of personal relationship you have with the family, the next thing is to try and understand your financial situation and how it relates to the person. If he is to receive some income from an agency, inheritance or social security of the decedent, is it enough to provide for the person the kind of support that is needed?
And if the money is not enough, do you have another source of income that will help you keep the child comfortable till they attain the age of 18?
Are You the Most Appropriate Guardian?
Well, there are no rules that are set in stone that define the perfect guardian. Usually it is up to the discretion of the judge in Jamaica to weigh the many factors before he makes a decision. While the court has a certain order that it follows in appointing a guardian for people, the system that is used is usually flexible, especially when there is no parent alive. In many circumstances, there is no need to compare them to guardianship candidates over someone else because there is only a single person that is ready to take up the task.
The judge will usually consider the guardian with the “best interests” of the person in focus. The judge looks at the ties between the person and the ability of the proposed guardian to be the best parent for the person. The judge also considers various other aspects such as your health and the capacity to provide the person with the basic necessities.
You also need to be affiliated to a school or religious body that will take up the person and help nurture him. If you have taken care of the person for a certain period, then the judge will also look at this as a huge supporting factor. This will be the basis for the judge to decide whether the relationship continues or it stops.
For older people, the judge might have to listen to them, and consider their wishes as well. If there are some parents and other close relatives, then the court will listen to them before making a decision.
You might be wondering whether one guardian will look after several persons – it is usually not a necessity. The judge will try to keep the family together as much as possible, but this is not a requirement by the law.
The judge looks at the order of preference that has always been followed since time immemorial, and chooses the best option:
- If either one of the parents is still alive, then they get the first priority to take up the person. If both are alive then the judge will determine whether to give sole or joint custody.
- To that person that the child has been allowed to live in a stable and wholesome environment.
- To the person that is determined capable and suitable to provide proper and adequate care and guidance to the person.
These are just a few guidelines that have been provided by the law. However, the law knows that there are other factors that will come into consideration that might sway the decision a little bit.
Are You an Appropriate Choice for Managing the Assets of the Person?
When it comes to choosing the best guardian, the judge looks at various aspects; one of it touches on your financial situation and the ability to manage huge sums of money.
What are the Reasons Why You shouldn’t be a Guardian?
You need to know that your personal lifestyle comes under scrutiny when you decide to be a guardian. The lifestyle you lead as well as your background will influence the decision about what is the best thing for the person. The court prosecutor will interrogate you then recommend whether to give you guardianship or reject the application.
In some cases, you might have to be fingerprinted and a criminal check performed to determine whether you have ever been reported for person abuse or neglect.
Do you know that there are various reasons why you might be denied the chance to act as a guardian? However, most of the decisions are based on the discretion of the judge; however, there are a few instances when you will lose the position automatically:
- If you have a previous history of abusing or neglecting a child. This can be a huge hindrance in your quest to become a guardianship for a person.
- If you have a previous felony charge, then you will not qualify to be a guardian. If you have had previous issues with the law, then your suitability as a guardian will depend on the crime, how far back it was committed and what has changed since then.
- The ability to handle or manage money will indicate whether you are the perfect choice for guardianships.
- Undesirable information about your personal life might influence the decision of the judge. These include drug, gambling or alcohol abuse issues.
Many people that have found themselves in these situations have ended up losing petitions to challenge the validity of a guardianship. However, if you are the only solution to the existing guardianship problem, then you can petition for the role.
Reasons Why You Can Decide To Terminate Or Change Guardians
A court appointment of a guardian and the orders that come with it are not cast in stone. They are reversible and subject to change when interested parties file a petition. The petition can seek to change the guardian or simply have a guardianship terminated. The party filing for change or termination will have to persuade the court with facts that establish the grounds for change or termination. The need to change or terminate a guardian can border on the following reasons;
This when a need to terminate guardianship arises following the death of the protected person. This usually takes the form of a court hearing that has the guardian present every account of the ward’s estate. The judge has to approve the final accounting for the guardianship to be closed.
In the event of the death of a guardian, the need to have a new one arises. The same is the case upon a guardian’s resignation or when an existing guardian ceases to be qualified. The process of appointment of a new guardian takes the filing of a petition. Under these circumstances, the petitioning party is not required to pay the filing fee again. The consent that had to be sought when the original guardian was being appointed has to again be sought with another guardian’s appointment.
In the case of a guardian acting for a minor resigning and a new qualified adult or parent is not available to take over guardianship; some states usually have the minor referred to a foster care institution. The court can task the resigning guardian to provide details of how the protected child’s care has to proceed following their resignation. This includes the arrangements that are in place that the court could put into consideration as the guardianship of the ward is determined going forward. This is, for example, true for Illinois.
Failure to Perform Guardian Duties
This is a ground for removal by a motion initiated by the court or petition of an interested party. Essentially, the duties of a guardian are determined by the nature of guardianship. This is whether it is full guardianship or limited, bestowing certain powers to make decisions on the welfare, care, and finances of the protected person.
If any party has reasons that can be proven in court, or by a motion of the court itself, a guardian is found to be ineffective or not serving the interests of the ward and therefore unfit to continue serving, they are terminated.
Change of Circumstances
The court usually receives updates on the protected person’s condition, either a minor or an adult. The powers of the guardian can be varied based on the changing needs of the protected person. This is the way medical examination documents and reports are also presented to the court. When the court finds that the circumstances that led to the establishment of guardianship due to the protected person’s incapability state have completely changed or have ceased a termination of guardianship may be ordered.
Similarly, a guardian is usually appointed upon the court’s satisfaction that they have the qualities that qualify them to serve. When the guardian’s qualities change, for instance, by way of relocating to another city or become less available. They also, generally, can put up conduct in the performance of duties that can be convincingly deemed as not advocating for the protected person’s welfare.
Wishes of the Biological Parent
When a court issues an order that establishes a guardianship, it does not, in effect, render the rights of parents redundant. This means that parents still retain the right to look out for the best interests of the child. This may include petitioning the court for a guardian change that means having the serving guardian discharged.
In case the guardian contests the parent’s termination petition or any other party of interest in the matter, hearings will be conducted. The court will use the evidence tabled by both parties and apply relevant laws in passing a determination about the fate of the serving guardian.
It is essential to understand that guardianship often lasts until the ward dies. However, this does not mean that a dissatisfaction guardianship or one that is not helping to advance the ward’s interests cannot be terminated. The court is open to petitions that can prove a need to change or terminate the guardianship. However, reasonable grounds for the court to take such a decision have to be provided.
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When Do You Need Our Legal Services?
In New York, once a person attains 18 years, they are considered legally capable of making decisions on their own. By this, it means that no other person is allowed to make financial, legal, medical, or personal decisions on behalf of the incumbent.
For individuals who are incapacitated in any way, the court must be involved to continue making decisions on their behalf. The New York law uses two primary forms of guardianship that potential guardians need to establish. These include the MHL Article 81 and the SCPA Article 17A. Both laws seek to protect the welfare of the ward during any guardianship proceedings.
Both guardianship types are somewhat complicated. It is often recommended that potential guardians seek the guidance of an experienced attorney when establishing guardianship. Most of these attorneys understand Article 81 and 17A requirements and will be able to guide you accordingly.
For both types of guardianship, you will need to prepare the necessary paperwork and appear in court for the hearing. For Article 81 guardianship, the incapacitated person may need to appear in court during the hearing to testify of their inability to make certain decisions.
Article 17A guardianship is quite broad and covers all the decisions that a parent of a child always makes – including healthcare and financial decisions. It is appropriate for disabled individuals who are about to transition into adulthood.
To initiate such a guardianship, parents and caregivers are required to fill the necessary petition forms and file these in the Surrogate’s court. All the guidelines associated with Article 17A guardianship are listed in the guardianship section of the Surrogate’s Court Procedures Act.
The case is similar for MHL Article 81 guardianship, except that it is carried out in the Supreme Court. This type of guardianship can be used for individuals of any age after they reach 18 years of age.
You might think that you have all the knowledge to make decisions on your own, but when it comes to guardianship, you need to have expert knowledge. It doesn’t matter whether you have the knowledge – some situations need you to make the right decisions.
There are times when you don’t have the support of the relatives to the persons, or the natural patents aren’t totally out of the picture. We have seen cases where a long lost parent came back and contested the guardianship, making it hard for the guardian to make decisions. Well, you might decide to start the guardianship process on your own, but time comes when guardianship lawyer Queens services is necessary.
If you have an idea that relatives might end up contesting the process, or parents that aren’t fit insisting on getting full custody then you will have to consult the lawyer first.
Do you know that time comes when you need one, but the process of running around getting the right one makes the whole process longer and you miss deadlines? This is why you need to make sure that you have a lawyer that is always ready to give you the advice you need.
Special Situations Need Special Solutions
There are some instances when you need our services. These are rare yet unique situations that we have seen before, and we believe will still come. Let us look at these situations:
Step Parents and Co-parents
The parents to the persons might still be alive, but you might be living with the person as a co-parent. Well, if this is the case, then you don’t need to file for guardianship. Filing for guardianship might set in motion a custody battle from the other parents. This can only work if you feel that the person might be in danger if exposed to the biological parent.
You are a Foster Parent
If you adopted the child and you need to take full custody, then you need to work with the social agency to make sure they guide you on how to handle the guardianship on your behalf.
How to Deal With Agencies and Institutions
If you are the guardian to a person that isn’t your child, then you have to deal with institutions and agencies that might make your life hard. Agencies that are supposed to distribute benefits from the parents are very cautious when it comes to dealing with a guardian. We can’t blame them though; all they want is to make sure that the benefits are channeled to the right beneficiary.
When you get into a tussle with the agencies, you need to work with a lawyer so that you get a level playing ground. We are ready to work with you so that you get all the benefits as per the trust, or the will.
At times the agencies require legal authorizations to act on behalf of a beneficiary, which in this case is a person. However, the policy of a certain agency might not be the same like another one a few miles away on the same street. So, how are you supposed to work with institutions and agencies?
- You need to find out the requirements for written authorizations before you can go ahead to address a specific situation. Call in advance for information so that you don’t get surprises.
- Be very cooperative as possible. However, you shouldn’t volunteer more information than you need to give. Often you will sign the affidavit and no questions will be asked.
- Carry the necessary documents when you go to meet the agency representative.
- If the agency or institution provides preprinted authorization forms, you need to obtain copies.
Why Choose Guardianship Lawyer Queens Services?
While deciding whether becoming a guardian for a loved one is the best move, it is essential to go through the details of the person’s circumstances to establish the best form of guardianship. Whether the intended ward is a person or an elderly person, several benefits come with being their guardian and you must be ready to provide these to them.
Most individuals struggle with the thought of becoming guardians because of the responsibilities involved. However, with the guidance of a good guardianship attorney such as ourselves, there is nothing to worry about.
Guardianship arrangements help to safeguard the interests of person or adult individuals who are incapable of taking proper care of themselves. Being a guardian to your loved one helps safeguard their rights and protects them from scammers. Our practice helps you to carry out the guardianship process in a seamless way. We provide you with several unique benefits that are not offered by any other legal firm. Specifically:
We Deal with Children and Adults Alike
We have years of experience working with cases that involve persons as well as dependent adults. We help you to draft the right kind of paperwork that assists you to protect the ward, despite their age.
We focus on fulfilling your wishes and are willing to work with any family members to ensure the success of your case. We are well equipped to manage all the problems that arise once your loved one loses their ability to make decisions on their own.
For instance, if an adult relative gets injured by accident or develops an illness that causes brain damage, it may not be clear to you what needs to be done to initiate their guardianship case.
We aim to provide you with the right legal guidance to ensure that you understand the kind of procedures to follow. We also provide you with sound financial advice in case you are appointed to make financial decisions on behalf of the ward.
We Are Approachable
Some guardianship attorneys may seemingly become remote and intimidated. You will be surprised at how friendly and approachable our legal experts are. As our client, you will always find it easy to contact us, and we will always respond to your calls, emails, and other forms of communication promptly.
You are allowed to contact us using whichever method that makes you more comfortable. All our clients are normally free to provide us with constructive feedback, which we use to improve our services.
We always take the initiative to inform you of any action we want to carry out before we do it. We mean what we say and do not hide any vital information from you. We inform you openly about our professional fees during our initial meeting and remain honest about our mode of working so that you understand what to expect.
We Maximize on the Advantages of Guardianship
We understand that becoming a guardian to somebody else has some essential benefits that cannot be obtained using any other method. Once you have been appointed as a guardian, you can always remain confident that you will be able to take proper care of your loved one. In most cases, the probate court will give you legal rights to make vital decisions on behalf of the ward.
We use these strategies as our motivation for success. We understand that in most guardianship situations, especially where persons are involved, it is essential to have a guardian to avoid any unnecessary complications that may occur in the future.
We utilize every possible strategy to make the outcome of your case positive. We provide you with the best representation possible and also give you sound advice that assists you to make the best decisions for your loved one.
Our office understands how much dedication you need to make it through the guardianship process. Our approaches are quite informative and widely researched. We endeavor to help you better understand your guardianship proceedings so that you make informed choices on the way forward.
We Provide Experienced Advocacy
To successfully execute any legal case, you need to select a guardianship lawyer Queens practice that can represent you adequately. We offer you many years of experience, specializing in guardianship matters.
We understand our roles and responsibilities as guardianship attorneys and are often ready to offer the right mediation between our clients and the court. Most of our clients come to us under unhappy circumstances but leave when they are fulfilled and happy with the outcome of their guardianship cases.
We exercise high standards of discretion for every detail you give us. We take time to understand the context of every case before providing you with the kind of advocacy you deserve. We customize our representation to your best interests.
With the many years of experience that we possess, no guardianship case is too complicated for our practice. We aim to relieve you of the stress associated with the entire process and provide a voice to our clients who are unable to speak for themselves.
We Offer Personalized Attention
At our practice, we know how emotionally overwhelming it becomes when going through legal proceedings. If you have never been to the probate court before, you may not understand the requirements of guardianship petitions.
We take the responsibility of explaining the whole process to ensure you understand it before we commence. We understand that our clients may not be familiar with legal terminologies and always take the initiative to explain these to you in understandable terms.
We take all the measures to ensure that you do not stumble blindly through the proceedings. Although we take full charge of your case, we will continue to involve you as required so that you remain apprised of the progress of your case.
Through providing our clients with personalized attention and custom solutions, we can articulate their goals better, resulting in more satisfactory outcomes for your family members.
We Understand the Requirements of Guardianship
Several document preparation portals are all over the internet. Although you may be tempted to use them, these may not be acceptable to the probate court.
The requirements of each guardianship case vary depending on the circumstances of the ward. If you do not understand what you need exactly for your case, you may end up presenting the wrong documents to the court and this may reduce your chances of getting a guardianship appointment.
Working with us ensures that you present the right documents to court each time you are requested to do so. We understand all the types of paperwork necessary to initiate guardianship, their purpose, and how you can easily get them drafted.
We Act Fast
We are not time wasters. We understand how urgent guardianship cases are and do our best to obtain a solution as soon as we can. We keep our word and promises.
We are effective in making quick decisions. If your loved one is no longer able to take care of themselves, we can help you obtain emergency temporary guardianship as we follow up on the main case. Emergency guardianship enables you to continue making decisions for the ward and access their funds until a permanent guardian is selected by the court.
In case you do not meet the criteria of becoming a guardian to the loved one in question, we work closely with your family members to determine the most appropriate decision-maker for them
In some cases, family members may not agree on the chosen candidate as a guardian for the word. We assist you to resolve such differences outside the courts by mediating between disagreeing family members.
We Provide Superior Representation
Our legal team is always at your service. You can rely on us for sound legal advice and representation when it comes to complex guardianship cases owe have all the necessary expertise needed to win most cases and strive to offer you exceptional services.
We provide our clients with targeted solutions and seek to do this in a way that offers the best level of comfort. We know how dynamic the legal field is and appreciate the fact that legal regulations keep changing all the time.
We pride ourselves on remaining up to date with the ever-changing guardianship laws. We also appreciate the diversity in every legal issue. We continuously work with our clients to ensure that their guardianship issue does not become too big or expensive to handle.
Our team of guardianship lawyers can pinpoint any mistakes in your case in time. They have the right experience to handle every step of the process the right way, thus eliminating any delays in finding a solution.
Our practice stands out when it comes to handling guardianship cases. We have a reputation for assisting several clients to win their cases without engaging in unnecessary back and forth.
One of our strengths is that we do not leave any of your concerns unaddressed. We do not take any chances with everyone that comes to us for assistance. We pride in providing adequate knowledge and guidance to all types of clients.
How we work:
Our usual process
Step 1 – Contact
Step 2 – Review and Analysis
Step 3 – Additional Screening
Step 4– Work Ethics
Step 5 – Results
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
There are specific expectations for someone interested in being a guardian. It is not an easy role, and one has to be prepared to have their hands full with responsibilities. Parenting comes with a lot of sacrifices; hence guardianship is not for everyone. The process often entails:
- Providing basic needs for the person who is under your guardianship. This includes food, shelter and clothing. In some cases, the guardian might find themselves chipping in on education and health for the individual.
- You are in charge of the safety and security of the child. As a guardian, you act as the child’s biological parent until they attain the right age to make their own decisions.
- You have to nurture positive behavior in these children as you would your own. This is sometimes challenging, especially with teenagers, so it is easier to become a guardian to younger children. It is easier to mould them into responsible adults.
- If a child has assets, it might mean that you become a guardian of their assets too. This sometimes comes with the heavy burden of dealing with relatives who would want access to the assets.
Some specific circumstances lead to guardianship, and they are mostly approved by the court:
- When a child’s biological parents are deceased.
- When an adult has mental challenges and is not able to take care of themselves
- When the person has a disability that diminishes their thinking capacity over time, which means they cannot make decisions without help.
There are some situations when a child would want to end their relationship with their guardian. This might happen when they feel they are now old enough to make responsible decisions by themselves or feel like they are not getting the right quality of life with the guardian.
This is not easy, but here are some ways this can be possible:
- If the guardian dies, this means s/he will not be there to make the decisions for you. However, if one is under 18 years of age, they will be transferred to another guardian.
- If the child gets to the age of 18, then they can approach the court to end the guardianship. From there, they can now make their own decisions and be responsible for their lives.
- If the child comes with evidence to court proving that they are not leading a good life, are being mistreated or if the guardian is mishandling their assets. The court will review the guardianship and consider transferring it to someone who is more capable.
Guardianship is mostly temporary and comes to an end unless one applies for permanent guardianship:
- If the child or guardian dies.
- When the guardian makes a formal request to end the guardianship due to unavoidable circumstances.
- When the child reaches the legal age to make independent decisions.
- If a third party proves that the child is not living under favorable conditions, the court can end the guardianship.
The best thing with such cases is that the biological parent can make plans in advance to leave their children with the right guardian. Most people go for relatives or very close friends, people they trust with the role.
However, it is advised that you do a thorough background check even on your closest relatives, as some might turn out to be unreliable.
Here is a quick checklist to work with for a start:
- Do your children love this individual? Have you seen them spend time together? What is their relationship like? Your children need to be left with someone who values them and will do anything to make their life comfortable.
- Where does the person live? Is it within the same state you are in or in a totally different one? Children do well when transitioning around family and friends. It is advisable to settle on someone who stays within the same neighborhood so that their lives are not totally disrupted.
- Consider someone who has proven to be responsible and can comfortably take care of children. Guardianship is like normal parenting and needs someone who has the heart for it.
- Ensure you share the same moral and religious standings so that your children don’t struggle to fit into new beliefs at the new home.