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How Will Decisions Be Made If I am Incapacitated? Part 2: Guardianship

How Will Decisions Be Made If I am Incapacitated? Part 2: GuardianshipIn a previous blog, we discussed the important documents—healthcare proxy, living will, and power of attorney—that allow you to appoint people to make healthcare, legal, and financial decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. If you have not finalized those documents before you become mentally or physically unable to make decisions, then a guardianship proceeding will take place.

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When Does Guardianship Become a Necessity?

When Does Guardianship Become a Necessity?In New York State there are three different types of guardianships:

  • Guardianship under Mental Hygiene Law Article 81: Applicable to an adult who had capacity during their lifetime but has since experienced cognitive and/or functional limitations.
  • Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act Article 17 Guardianship: Guardianship of a minor, applies to anybody under the age of 18 without a legal guardian.  An Article 17 action assigns guardianship for a child only until they reach the age of majority at 18 years old.  
  • Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act Article 17A Guardianship: Applies to an adult without requisite mental capacity; adults with developmental disabilities, who are intellectually disabled, or who have a traumatic brain injury.
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