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Estate Planning Attorney Long Island (Nassau County) Services: Let Us Help You through This Challenging Time in Your Life
Facts: The life expectancy in the USA is 78.5 years, meaning people are more likely to live longer and might need the services of a guardian.
When seeking the guardianship of your child over the age of 18 years, you need to work with a guardianship lawyer. We have family law attorneys that are familiar with the laws of the state and can assist you handle the process. Article 81 of the guardianship law in New York talks about incapacitated persons and what is needed to make a decision when you bring the case to the probate court. Only a qualified lawyer can help you understand this law.
To get guardianship the right way, you need to apply through the right body. We can help make the process go more smoothly and efficiently.
What is Guardianship?
A guardianship refers to a role that is handled by someone appointed by the probate court. When you are appointed the guardian over a person, it means that you are given the ability to make medical, personal and financial decisions on behalf of another person. The person that requires a guardian is usually referred to as a “ward”.
In most cases the ward refers to an individual that has severe mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from making the right decisions by themselves. A typical example of a guardianship is when an adult child becoming the guardian of his aging parent that suffers from Alzheimer’s.
In New York, once an individual reaches 18 years, they are considered competent enough to become independent. However, if the person is physically or intellectually challenged in any way, the court may grant another person the responsibility of making decisions on their behalf.
A parent or caregiver can always request the Surrogate’s Court to appoint them as guardians to their loved one if they wish to continue making decisions on behalf of a disabled child. This can only be achieved through the SCPA Article 17A guidelines.
If a person aged 18 years and above faces mental and functional challenges, their parents, sibling or any other close relative can request the Supreme Court to give them legal rights as guardians. This process has to be completed under MHL Article 81.
SCPA Article 17A guardianship laws were established to allow parents, caregivers, and relatives to make decisions on behalf of a disabled child once he or she reaches 18 years of age. The motivation was that if a child reaches 18 years of age with developmental or intellectual disabilities, there is very little chance for improvement.
Article 17A ensures that the parents of these children retain the same powers they hold over a minor for the rest of their lives. Article 81 was enacted decades after establishing Article 17A. It was directed towards adult individuals who had either diminished or lost functional capability.
The law allows potential guardians to prove the incapacity of an individual before they are appointed to offer any assistance. One great advantage of Article 81 guardianship is that it does not grant the guardian more power than necessary. The guidelines seek to preserve the independence of an individual as much as possible.
Proper medical diagnosis is required in the case of Article 17A guardianship. While this is not necessary for Article 81, a more refined determination of an individual’s functional incapacity may be needed before you get appointed as a guardian.
The Different Types of Guardianships in Long Island
There are different types of guardianships:
Here, the guardian exercises extensive and comprehensive authority for making decisions for the person relating to his property as well as personal care.
In this case, the person that has been appointed to be the legal guardian will only make specific decisions in reference to the property and the care of the person. A lawyer can help you understand your rights and duties in each case.
Here, the guardian is only needed for a short time after which the person is expected not to need the service anymore. This is usually performed in an emergency and doesn’t take long.
Here, the person is expected to take charge of the ward’s personal care as well as property as long as the ward is alive.
Before you decide to apply for guardianship, we need to dispel some myths that are making rounds about guardianship.
One of the things that misguide people in their approach to guardianship is misconceptions. These are myths that emanate from the misrepresentation of facts about how guardianship works. Myths about guardianship must be demystified for people to have an accurate understanding and a guided approach to guardianship. The myths are elaborated below:
Myth #1: Being the next of kin makes me an automatic guardian
This is one of the myths that misguide people as they do not know that being a guardian does not presuppose that one has to automatically assume a guardian’s powers. When an adult becomes incapacitated, your relationship with them does not have a strong bearing on guardianship matters.
Being their family does not grant you express powers of making decisions for them. If you have an incapable adult around you or who is related to you and who may have appointed you as their next-of-kin, you have to solicit advice on guardianship before trying to do anything as their guardian. You may need to file a guardianship petition to be granted powers by the court to decide the incapable adult, being your family notwithstanding.
Myth #2: I can mix my money with that of my ward
This is not allowed, and you cannot try to debit your account with monies coming from the ward’s assets. A separate account has to be established where you direct your ward’s assets when managing for them as their legal guardian. Usually, the court’s judgment establishing a guardianship comes with an order to the effect that a segregated account be set up to handle the ward’s monetary assets. It even determines the title of the said account.
Myth #3: I can outsource professional handlers to assist me in playing my role as a guardian
This is not something that goes without the court’s say. You may feel that the performance of certain functions in managing your ward’s estate requires you to solicit professionals such as accountants or other estate consultants. However, this must be preceded by convincing the court to grant approval to hire professionals and pay them.
The only expertise you have full access to is the estate planning attorney long island (Nassau County) practice. They guide you on what to do when seeking for a guardian.
Myth #4: I can use my money to pay for my ward’s bills and recoup later.
This is a myth and an absolute no. The ward’s monetary assets that have been mobilized and channeled into the separate account as ordered by the court are the ones to use to pay for the needs of a ward. In any event that your own shopping coincides with shopping for the ward’s necessities, there should be separate receipts for your shopping and your ward’s shopping. This is for ease of accounting that is mandatory and relies on maintaining accurate accounts of income and expenditure.
Myth #5: The ward will distaste me for petitioning for guardianship
This emanates from fear that once the incapacitated person has recovered, they will perceive the guardianship as having been an attempt to take over their estate. This is untrue as guardianship is usually the last reasonable resort that often comes out of an urge to help.
The ward does not know the severity of their incapacity, and when they recover, guardianship lawyers can help with the best way to explain guardianship in a soft way that can be received by the ward. Again, the court would have to appoint a guardian when it means the ward needs it, after all.
Myth #6: I fear that this will evoke family wrangles that may not have an end
This is something that guardianship attorneys know and are conscious of and can help in approaching the process in amicable ways and do not stir up family fights. There are alternatives to handling the situation. Helping a ward with making decisions for their good should not be hindered by fears of potential family feuds around the same.
Myth #7: Guardianship processes are complex and weighty, can I handle it
You do not have to worry since there are guardianship attorneys that have the experience to help you with the whole process. Additionally, you do not have to be the guardian yourself, even when you are the initiator of the petition. You can choose professional guardians that have no links with any family entities or a friend or any other relative.
One must seek accurate information about guardianship to avoid misconceptions. This includes conducting personal research and seeking consultancy services from a legal guardianship practitioner to get the facts right.
How Can You Become a Guardian on Long Island?
For you to become a guardian to someone, you need to demonstrate well enough that the ward doesn’t have the capacity to take care of themselves or their property. There are a few steps that you need to take in order to become a guardian:
File All Your Forms with the Probate Court
In order for you to become a guardian, whether for an adult or a child, you need to complete all the necessary forms and file the request with the relevant courts. You can do this using estate planning attorney Long Island (Nassau County) expert services. Our lawyers understand the process and have done it before. We have been assisting clients seeking guardianship for many years and we know what you need to do and the information you ought to provide.
Remember that you don’t need to file the forms alone – you are required to give the forms to other people that have interest in the guardianship, including relatives that also want the guardianship.
Different counties have different requirements when it comes to applying for guardianship. This is the reason why you need to have a lawyer that understands these requirements and how to fulfill them so that the process is faster and more fulfilling. Call us today to make sure you have all you need to make the process easy.
Prove that the Ward Needs a Guardian
You have to prove to the court that the person needs a guardian. As estate planning attorneys, we are often asks questions about the need for guardianship. There are various reasons why someone needs a guardian:
People that Have Lost their Parents
Normally, the ideal situation is that parents have full control over the kids that they have given birth to or adopted till they reach 18 years of age. Once the child turns 18 years of age, the natural guardianship gets completed, and the child can make decisions on their own.
However, when both parents of the child who is under 18 years old pass away, he needs a guardian to make decisions for them till they attain the age of 18 years old. The good thing is that the parents can appoint a guardian in their estate plan. If, unfortunately, they fail to come up with a guardian during this time, then the court has the ability to do this on their behalf.
There are a few issues that arise with a court appointed guardian:
· The designated person might not be the person that the parents wanted to take care of the children when they pass away.
· If the proposed person isn’t what the relatives wanted, then they can dispute the appointment, which can lead to longstanding battles in court, causing a lot of stress for the children and this can destroy the family relationships.
· The guardian that has been appointed by the court needs to seek for court approval for many of the actions and decisions that they make and submit reports till the child becomes an adult.
Well, you can avoid all these issues if you designate a guardian in your will early enough. As the firm providing the best estate planning attorney Long Island (Nassau County) services, we have helped many clients come up with guardianships for their minors, and we are ready to do the same for you as well.
Young Adults with Cognitive Disabilities
Not all children are born the same. Some have the ability to make the right decisions regarding self-care while others don’t have this ability. In such a situation, you can petition the probate court to become the guardian to the child, and you can then name a successor guardian that will take over when you pass away and you aren’t able to take care of him.
Studies show that as you age, you develop issues with your cognitive ability to make decisions. Further studies show that more than 50 million people suffer from dementia, with more than 10 million new cases occurring each year. Dementia is a syndrome that leads to deterioration of memory, poor behavior and loss of the ability to perform daily activities as expected.
The reason why a person with dementia needs a guardian is because he is usually unable to make informed or rational decisions by themselves or even take care of themselves as expected. Most of these people don’t allow other people to assist them, which often become dangerous.
If you have a parent or an ageing parent that can’t make the necessary decisions on their own, you need to apply for legal guardianship to make decisions on their behalf. Seek for “estate planning attorney Long Island (Nassau County)” to get referrals and suggestions on who to work with.
What Should You Do?
When it comes to determining whether your family member, whether an adult or a teen, needs guardianship, all you need to do is to talk to us to help you determine the decision you need to make. Many times people often procrastinate and this can be dangerous.
Figure Out the Person to Appoint
If you decide to appoint a guardian in advance, you need to figure out the person that you want to nominate. In such situations, you need to have a successor guardian as well, so that when the primary guardian fails to serve in one way or another, you have a replacement at hand. The guardian will be in charge of all the decisions that relate to the life of the ward, including social, personal, education and medical decisions. The role of the guardian is to step in the shoes of the deceased parent and make all decisions as expected.
Talk to Potential Guardians
You shouldn’t assume that a person will decide to be a guardian just because they are close to you. You need to take time and talk to the different people and determine that they want to serve. Take time to discuss all the potential issues with the proposed guardian to know whether he or she is willing to handle the responsibility that comes with working as a substitute parent.
You need to take time to talk to the potential guardian to let them know what is expected of them. You ought to discuss in detail the issues that the ward is facing and find out if they have the time and experience to handle these issues.
The proposed guardian might decline to serve, which means that you have the capacity to choose another person that is willing to serve in this capacity. This is why it is vital that you have someone that can replace the main guardian when they cannot serve due to one reason or another.
You also need to discuss with the guardian where the person will live. For instance, he might have to move out of the parent’s house and live with the guardian or in a children’s home. In some cases, you need to talk to the guardian over the possibility of him moving into your home to take care of the child from there.
Consider Relationship Between the Guardian and the Trustee
You should always look at the interrelationship between the trustee and the guardian. Normally, you come up with a trust to protect the assets that you leave behind for the person. The trust will be overseen by the trustee, which means that the guardian has to request for support from the trustee whenever they need something. This is why these two need to be in good terms at all times.
If these two aren’t in good terms, then there might be a problem when distributions need to be made. This is reason why you should consider naming a professional trustee such as a bank to manage the trust.
Put It All in Writing
Well, you need to make sure that everything that you have deliberated on need to be in writing for it to stand in a court of law. First, you need to nominate the guardian in a will. Remember that the person that you nominate will have to be confirmed by the court, and if you include the name in the will then it becomes legally binding.
You also need to follow the legal process in designating a standby guardian. This means that you inquire about the process of designating a guardian and then follow it to the latter. You can approach us to make sure all the processes have been performed as required.
You also need to prepare a letter of intent that guides the guardian on what to do and what to expect from the whole process. This letter will bind the guardian to specific actions.
A Vital Decision
Appointing a guardian for a teen or an adult is one of the most vital estate planning decisions that you can make as a parent. It takes time and proper guidance to come up with this decision. Make sure you work with a lawyer that understands what needs to be done before you come up with the right guardian.
Confident game on the legal field. We will protect you from problems!
Signs You Need Estate Planning Attorney Long Island (Nassau County) Services
When it comes to the guardianship process, you need expert legal help. Let us look at the top signs you need a lawyer to help you manage the process.
You Don’t Know Where to Start
Well, let’s say you have a child or an adult that needs a guardian, but you just don’t know where to start when it comes to getting one. This is a sure sign that you need to enlist our services so that we can assist you start the process. Usually, a small mistake might jeopardize the entire process, reason why you need estate planning attorney Long Island (Nassau County) services to navigate the process.
You are Too Busy
When it comes to guardianship, you need to perform various tasks that require time. When you are too busy to do this, you tend to find the process dragging on for too long without a resolution in place. This is why you need to hire us to handle the tasks on your behalf. We have an able team that understands your needs and will make sure you get the best out of it.
Your Current Lawyer Isn’t Competent
Well, we aren’t out to make things hard for other lawyers, but in many cases, we have come across clients that have complained about working with lawyers that don’t understand what they are doing. We know how complicated the process can be, and we are here to make sure that we make things right for you.
Anytime you come across a hurdle in your quest to make headway in coming up with a guardian, there will be a lot of questions, worries and other points at which you hope their legal team will be available to provide some help. A competent attorney can detail the preferred ways to handle them and respond to any inquiries in the best way.
The Guardianship Law is Complicated
You aren’t a lawyer, and you don’t have a full understanding of the law. The guardianship law differs from one county to another, and this means that you need a person who understands what you are going through and has the experience to handle any issue that comes up.
You might know what is right from what is wrong, but you don’t have the emotional detachment or the power to represent yourself. Even a straightforward guardianship issue can easily become sloppy when the process is poorly executed.
You have A Lot of Paperwork to Handle
When it comes to guardianship, there is a lot of paperwork, documents and legal procedures that have to be filed out and completed. If you don’t meet the deadlines or the paperwork incorrectly filed, then this can complicate the guardianship procedure.
When faced with any issue with guardianship, you need a lawyer that understands the process. We are here to help you navigate the entire process for you.
Working with a Guardianship Lawyer Successfully
Now that you have decided to work with a guardianship lawyer, you need to understand the various steps to make things successful. Here are a few commandments to work effectively with us.
Remember you are Being Charged by the Hour
When you decide to work with us, know that you are paying for the services depending on the time we spend on the process. This can be self-evident but many people lose sight of this fact. This means you need to research about the process before you come in to us.
Always Plan Ahead
Many people always want things to work fast and easy, and cheap for them. This shouldn’t be the case. When you give us an advance warning of what you want, then you can reduce the charges while maintaining the quality of the process. Make sure you are prepared for the guardianship by having all the information you need to make a decision in choosing the guardian.
Keep Us Informed
One of the aspects of planning ahead is to always keep us informed about anything that develops along the way. Remember that we have multiple demands on our time and it is better if you tell us what has happened when it happens so that we don’t get caught unawares.
Always Follow Through
You will get more results from us if you follow through on what we are doing. We have a lot to do, and at times we might not be able to communicate as often as we wish to. This is why it is vital that you call us to ask about the case and make sure you are always updated.
Guardianship is an essential legal process carried out by the probate court in Syosset. It allows an individual, often known as a guardian to take make legal decisions on behalf of a minor or incapacitated adult.
Guardianship has never been an easy process, yet it must be established for every heir that cannot make sound personal, financial, or health-related decisions on their own. In case you need to establish guardianship for a loved one, you will need estate planning attorney Long Island (Nassau County) services. This is where our practice comes in.
We help you navigate the complexities of the procedure and assist you to handle all matters relating to guardianship more effectively. Our services are more than a mere expense – investing in them is synonymous with catering for your well-being and that of your loved ones.
At our firm, we are honored when you put your trust in us and are committed to repaying this trust with quality care that each of our clients deserves. Here are some reasons why most clients choose to work with us:
We Offer Vast Legal Experience
Every guardianship case has its challenges and limitations. Some laws and regulations must be adhered to for the process to be successful. Our practice comprises of a team of experts who understand the complexity of guardianship.
We have several years of combined experience in family law and other practice areas associated with this kind of process. We work with several court systems and have handled hundreds of cases in the past.
We understand that our clients may not have all the information required for them to make informed legal decisions. By leveraging our experience and knowledge, we can serve as effective guides and advocates to all our clients.
Most legal attorneys concentrate on resolving disputes after they occur. Our practice focuses on preventing disputes. We also have experience in trying cases in court and handling complex cases that may seem to last a lifetime.
Our team of professionals has expert negotiators who take time to understand the legalities of each guardianship case before deriving a solution for it. We never hesitate to represent you in court because we are confident in our ability to obtain positive results.
We Make Your Needs Our Priority
We aim to meet the needs of our clients. Although every guardianship attorney needs to be skilled at their job, they may not be of much help if they cannot respond to your questions adequately.
At our firm, we never shift focus from what we do and why we do it. We continuously revise our strategy to incorporate what makes your life better. Our pride is in being responsive to our clients, and in giving them the right information needed to progress their cases positively.
Having the right information ensures that you have peace of mind throughout the process. We serve you with the same passion and care we would want for ourselves and families. We do not discriminate any of our clients, and accord each guardianship case the seriousness it deserves.
Our guardianship attorneys have a reputation for being approachable and customer-friendly. We are not afraid of handling complicated guardianship issues because we have the capability of making them easier for our clients.
We Keep Our Word
When we say that each client matters at our practice, we mean it. We understand how a wrong guardianship ruling can adversely affect your loved ones. That is why we dedicate the best resources, technology and professional skills to each case.
During our initial meeting with our clients, we highlight the gravity of their issues and make them understand how important it is to work with us. We are always selective about our caseload. We only take as much work as we can handle. Doing this ensures that we have enough time and manpower to handle each case.
We make our clients comfortable during the entire period. We also do our best to make them understand that we have their best interests at heart. Any solution that we recommend is based on practical experience – what has been tried and tested and not mere theory.
We Customize Every Client’s Experience
We understand that no two guardianship cases can be the same. Any guardianship lawyer can handle your case through the use of pre-designed templates that are all over the internet. However, our commitment is to offer you custom-made solutions that fit your individual circumstances.
Once you express your interest to work with us, we will schedule a meeting with you and listen to your concerns. It is only after understanding your situation that we will recommend a way forward.
We do not provide you with any advice, documents, or updates until we understand your needs. We avoid using generalized templates since these may not deliver the best results for all clients.
We keep you and your loved ones updated on the status of your case as and when required. We are always keen to highlight any potential complications that may arise as your case proceeds to get you prepared early enough.
We are Keen Listeners
Guardianship is a very sensitive process that needs sound guidance and advice. We know that you are the best person to provide the details of the case. If you happen to read testimonials from our previous clients, you will get to understand how keen we are with client details.
To initiate a guardianship case, you will be required to file a petition in court. Most people do not understand how best to prepare the petition. We ensure that your petition meets all the legal requirements. With your permission, we may also represent you in court during hearings.
We pride in assisting you to fulfill all other legal obligations. We facilitate the collection of evidence and carry out any tasks required before the trial commences. Our guardianship attorneys also aim at collecting contact details of relevant personnel, medical records, and any certifications required by the court on your behalf.
We Protect the Interests of your Loved Ones
In most guardianship circumstances, children or individuals with physical or mental disabilities need to be assisted in making critical decisions. The primary aim of guardianship is to protect heirs who are unable to act on their own.
You can always count on us to ensure to save your loved ones from the harm caused by making improper decisions. This is one of the biggest advantages of guardianship that you can ever get from an attorney.
While working with you, we offer you with proper advice and guidelines needed to handle your minor or incompetent loved one. We also provide you with alternative options that you may need to consider besides guardianship, such as a power of attorney or the use of trusts.
We Ensure Proper Asset Protection
Besides protecting incapacitated heirs, the main goal of guardianship is to protect the ward’s assets. Our services prove invaluable when it comes to this task. We offer you specialized advocacy that ensures maximum protection of any assets involved in the guardianship case.
Our team of guardianship attorneys has the best tactics of convincing the court towards taking the necessary actions required to preserve these assets against liabilities such as Medicaid and nursing home expenses.
We aim at making the entire process of getting a guardian for your loved one easier for our clients. We strategically provide you with a wealth of information regarding guardianship procedures within your state. By ensuring that you understand these procedures, you can easily determine what is expected of you and make the necessary arrangements in good time.
Statutory laws involving guardianship keep changing over time. Having been in practice for many years, it is our duty to inform you of these changes as soon as they occur. These regular updates prevent you from making any legal mistakes that may jeopardize your case.
We Minimize the Downsides
Although many people associate guardianship with several downsides, our practice works hard to ensure that these are kept at a minimum. One aspect that most clients worry about is the cost – guardianship can sometimes be expensive and time-consuming.
By working with us, your case will be treated as a personal affair and this means that you will not incur any unnecessary procedures that may result in more costs.
Once the case comes before the courts, we work closely with you and other involved parties to ensure that all legal requirements are presented to the court as required. You can be sure that the attorney that is assigned your case has the requisite skills and credentials to offer the best legal services necessary for your case.
If you have a concern or question about the entire process, you can always feel free to contact us or visit our offices. With our practice, you can always remain peaceful knowing that you have the best team of experts representing you in court.
The result will be the appointment of someone you can trust to represent and make decisions on behalf of the ward.
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
Yes. In most cases, the child comes with funds that are at the guardian’s disposal. These are meant for the child’s upkeep. The children might have an inheritance or assets that the court allocates to you so that you can use the proceedings to take care of the child.
However, there are some basics that you will need to afford, so you cannot take advantage of the child’s assets. If you cannot afford to take care of yourself, then guardianship is not for you. Some children do not come with these privileges and you might find that you need to cater to some of their expenses.
In some cases, the government provides the public with funds that are set aside specifically for guardianship. This only works in situations where the child comes with nothing of their own. It is advisable to be able to take care of some basic amenities for both you and the child, before taking them in.
Yes. The guardianship process has various fees that the guardian to be has to take care of before being granted guardianship. There is a fee that you pay to the court for filing the petition, where the court does their investigation first then confirms if you are capable of guardianship. This fee varies from one state to another.
Once you have paid the petition fee, it becomes easy to move through the process if it is not contested. When the application is contested, say by a relative, you will need to pay even a bigger fee for the case to be revisited by the court. That is why doing your due diligence early enough can save you a lot of costs.
When you add the above to the attorney’s fees, you realize that becoming a guardian is not easy and neither is it cheap. You have to weigh the options and make sure you have a good amount of money before starting the process.
This is guardianship that lasts for a shorter period. It can also act as a temporary guardianship. It is called limited because the guardian has the role of a parent for a limited amount of time as indicated in the petition by the biological parents.
Limited guardianship mostly happens when parents to a child go through a phase where they cannot take good care of their child, and feel like the child is better off staying with someone else. When they give out the child, they agree to suspend their rights as biological parents for that specific period.
Once the specified period has elapsed, then the child can go back to living with the parents, but only if the situation at home will be conducive.
This is the less explored alternative when it comes to guardianship. Plenary guardianship simply strips the child of all the rights to make any decisions. The guardian is given the right to make all the decisions for the child.
It is mostly done for children who have disabilities, or mental health challenges, whereby the parents or court feel like they cannot rationally make the right decisions. A guardian is appointed to help the child make the right decisions, but it should be the last option to explore.
These two are not mutually inclusive. You might have different guardians handling the two separately. The guardianship of a person simply means someone is mandated with the role of being a parent to someone’s child, or, the role of taking care of an incapacitated adult.
On the other hand, guardianship of an estate refers to someone that is tasked with the responsibility of managing and making any important decisions concerning any property or money owned by a child or incapacitated adult. The guardian will not have full control in the spending of the assets. That is determined by the courts, and the role of the guardian is to make sure the needs of the court are met.
In some cases, the person’s guardian can also manage their estate, but must first make an application in court. The court will only approve it if they are sure it is for the well-being of the child.