In New York, guardianship proceedings have increased due to an aging population, many of whom with financial means. Frequently, the cases are brought by friends and family of a person who they believe is no longer able to take care of themself. The alleged incapacitated person (AIP) has to decide whether they agree to relinquish some control or believe that they can completely take care of their affairs. There are strong emotions on both sides. A lawyer’s responsibility is to help the client based on the facts of the situation to arrive at the best result.
In New York City, there are designated guardianship parts manned by judges who deal only with these cases. Having an experienced attorney is important because it is a specialized area of the law and the attorney will have familiarity with the judge. I have been on various sides of guardianship proceedings including being the attorney for the AIP and the attorney for the guardian, being a court evaluator and a guardian. This diverse experience gives me the added ability to appreciate the view from all sides in the process.