** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on January…
When does my authority as a Standby Guardian begin?
If you are a standby guardian in a Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act Article 17A guardianship (17A guardianship), you should understand your authority and responsibilities you have in that role.
If the Surrogate’s Court appointed a guardian for an individual in a 17A guardianship proceeding, and appointed you as a standby or alternate standby guardian, then you should maintain contact with the individual, the guardian, and possibly even the standby guardian (if applicable) to make sure your authorization and responsibility has not changed.
The standby/alternate standby guardian are appointed to serve upon the death, incapacity or renunciation of the primary guardian. This means that if the primary guardian dies, is incapacitated, or renounces his or her role as guardian then you, as the standby guardian, automatically take over guardianship duties.
The standby guardian can make decisions immediately, but must go to the court within 60 days to request permanent guardianship status. If you fail to seek the court’s confirmation of your status as guardian within the 60-day timeframe, the court can deem the failure an implied renunciation of guardianship, and can allow an alternate standby guardian, second alternate standby guardian, or third alternate standby guardian to step up to act as guardian.
If you are the standby guardian and become aware of the death, incapacitation, or renunciation of a primary guardian, you should act quickly to presume the responsibilities of the guardian, take care of the individual in need of the guardianship, and seek the court’s confirmation of your role.
By Eric J. Einhart-Guest Blogger
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