Come persons are not capable of handling their own affairs. This issue becomes extremely important when dealing with a person with a developmental disability, such as autism, mental retardation, down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.
While the person with a disability is a minor, the person’s parents are charged with the obligation and the right to make care and life decisions for the individual. However, when that individual reaches the age of majority, usually 18 years, the parent loses that right since the person is now considered an adult. As with any adult who is not capable of handling their own affairs, a guardian must be appointed to make these care and life decisions for the individual with a developmental disability. Typically, it is the parent of the individual who petitions to be appointed guardian. This petition is brought under Article 17A of the New York State Estates, Powers and Trust Law.
A 17 A Guardianship proceeding begins with the filing of a petition requesting that a guardian be appointed for the developmentally disabled person. With the petition other documents relating to the proposed guardian and the extent of the disabled person’s disability are filed with the court as well. The court will then schedule a hearing where the judge will make inquiry as to the need for the guardian, the extent of the proposed ward’s disability and whether it would serve the best interests of the disabled person to have the guardian appointed. In some cases, where the disabled person is able to express an opinion on the subject, the court may take his or her opinion into consideration. If the court grants the petition, the court will issue an order of guardianship permitting the guardian to act on behalf of the disabled person.
Raising and caring for a person with a developmental disability is a full-time job fraught with many concerns over the welfare and safety of that person. Let me help you during this difficult time to ensure that the transition of the care from childhood to adulthood is seamless and worry free.