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New York & North Carolina

What You Need to Know about Adult Guardianship (MHL Article 81)


MHL Article 81 Guardianship

MHL Article 81 Guardianship proceedings can be peaceful or sometimes highly contested. Since Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC has acted as attorneys for the alleged incapacitated person, the proposed guardian, and as Court Evaluator when appointed by the courts, we have seen almost every side of a Mental Hygiene Article 81 proceeding.

Article 81 of New York’s Mental Hygiene Law is focused on individuals who were once competent but have become debilitated from a cognitive or functional limitation. Article 81 may also be pursued for an intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled individual who may not fit into the requirements for a 17-A guardianship.

  • Once a petition is filed with the court, a hearing date is scheduled.
  • During the hearing, the petitioner must provide convincing evidence that the incapacitated person is unable to manage their personal and/or financial affairs.
  • Nominees of the incapacitated person, the petitioner, and family members are most often given preference when the court decides who should be the guardian.
  • A guardian can be given the authority to pay the bills for an incapacitated person.
  • A guardian can be given the power necessary to prevent self-neglect
  • A guardian can be given the authority to stop physical abuse
  • A guardian can be authorized to engage in medical planning
  • A guardian can be authorized to engage in tax planning
  • A guardian must file regular reports with the court and visit the incapacitated person at least 4 times per year.
  • Guardianship lasts for the life of the incapacitated person.

If you need assistance with filing an MHL Article 81 petition, need representation, or have any questions regarding the MHL Article 81 Guardianship process contact us today at (914) 228-7448 or via email at