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New York & North Carolina

A Quick Guide to Guardianship in New York


What is Guardianship?

Guardianship refers to the legal process of a court-appointed relationship giving a person the legal right to make decisions for another individual who cannot do so for themselves

What is A Ward?

A ward is defined as the person the Guardian is making decisions for. This individual may have a mental illness, developmental disability, aging, or other incapacitating disabilities.

What is A Guardian?

A guardian is defined as a person who has been entrusted by the Surrogate Court with the care of another person, for the person’s property, or for the care of both person and property.

Who Can Be A Guardian?

Friends, family members, neighbors, or professionals trained in guardianship functions may act as a guardian. The guardian, by law:

  • Must be over eighteen.
  • Must not have ever been convicted of a felony.
  • Must not be a professional providing services to the incapacitated adult.
  • Must not be in debt to the incapacitated adult.

What is Article 17 Guardianship?

Article 17 Guardianship is for the guardianship of a child under 18 years of age, not married, and not in the military service. If a child’s parents are deceased, or unable to care for their child, a guardian can be appointed by the court under Article 17.

What is Article 17-A Guardianship?

Article 17-A Guardianship is for the guardianship of a person who is over 18 and is intellectually or developmentally disabled. The statute does require that the individual’s condition be certified by a licensed physician or psychologist. The court must also agree that guardianship is in the best interest of the disabled person.

What is Article 81 Guardianship?

Article 81 Guardianship is for the guardianship of an incapacitated person who is unable to care for themselves or manage their property and finances. Article 81 Guardianship orders are unique to each situation.

How Can I Obtain Guardianship? 

Guardianship proceedings can be peaceful or sometimes highly contested and can be a lengthy legal process. Applications often require additional paperwork such as guardianship waivers from all immediate family members, and affidavits from physicians. Guardianships that are uncontested typically cost a minimum of $7500.00, while more complicated contested Guardianships can cost significantly more. Fees and costs may often be paid out of the ward’s assets and income. It is highly recommended that any individual seeking guardianship consult an attorney.

For more information about Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC’s Adult Guardianship Attorney services, see our “New York Guardianship Attorney” page or call us at (914) 228-7448.