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Guardianship Attorney Bronx Services: Understanding Guardianship and Autism
Facts: Studies show that 1 in 68 kids suffer from autism. The prevalence is higher in boys than girls.
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Throughout Castle Hill, an individual is considered to be an adult and capable of making the right decisions when they turn 18 years old. They are expected to make these decisions without the support of the parent. These decisions pertain to education, health care and finances.
Sadly, not everyone is prepared for the responsibility of making decisions. Even as they are legally considered to be adults, some kids that have autism never develop the skills that are necessary to handle the critical decisions.
This is why you need to consider guardian services for your autistic child when they turn 18 years. Your family needs to consider the factors that are relevant to the situation.
Definition of Guardianship
This is a legally authorized relationship that is established between a guardian and a ward. The legal guardian has the authority and responsibilities similar to the parent, while the ward has to rely on the decisions of the guardian to survive.
You can only get guardianship for a person through a legal process that involves the probate court.
Types of Guardianships
Guardianship usually varies depending on the type of decision making powers that they come with, the duration thee powers are applicable and the type of appointment. Talk to us today to underhand about the type of guardianship that you can choose and the kinds of guardians that are recognized in New York.
Guardian of the Person
This is also called a plenary guardian, and when appointed, you are responsible for the day-to-day care of the individual. This type of guardianship gives you nearly the same rights as the biological parents when it comes to decision making.
Your responsibilities include:
- Rearing of the child. You have the right to make decisions such as diet, education, housing and many more.
- Health care. You can make medical decisions on behalf of the individual and discuss medical treatments with the healthcare providers.
- Legal representation. You can serve as the legal representative of the individual.
Guardian of the Estate
Also called a conservator, in this case you are responsible for managing the property of the individual. You don’t have the right to make child-rearing decisions that the other guardian makes.
This is the person that has both the authority of the guardian of the estate as well as the guardian of the person. This is the best choice when the financial needs of the individual aren’t so extensive.
This is a temporary appointment where the role lasts till the individual’s parents can resume their duties of taking care of him. If unfortunately the parents pass away, then the court will appoint a permanent guardian for this role. This role is common in cases where the parents have been in an accident and cannot execute their role normally.
This is a situation where a person is given guardianship rights for a limited time, usually less than a year.
Why Should You Consider Guardianship?
Parents to the autistic child usually assume that they will always hold the ultimate authority to make decisions on behalf of their kid, especially if the kid doesn’t have the intellectual ability to understand their responsibilities and their rights.
Parents usually wonder if they will have to manage the child to make decisions for themselves.
However, you need to know that once the child reaches the adult age, regardless of their state, they are considered adults and they are treated just like any other adult. This means that they have a mandate to be responsible for any actions that they will undertake. You will no longer have the right to force the kid to do something, say going to school or stays in school if he refuses.
There are also a few consequences that come with being an adult, for instance, if your kid signs a contract even if they don’t understand it, the contract is binding.
The child is now an adult, and if you were protecting him before, you can’t do the same at the moment. The child is now in the real world and everyone will treat him as an adult, he is fully responsible for the actions they make.
Having a guardian in place ill make sure that you can do the following for your child:
- Your child is now an adult, and they need to make financial and legal decisions. When you have a guardian, you make sure the autistic adult has someone that can guide him in these aspects.
- The guardian will be present at all times and help the child with medical treatment decisions including choosing insurance packages.
- The guardian will assist the adult to sign legal contracts, agreements and government documents. Some of these contracts need to be scrutinized before signing them.
When you opt to get guardianship to assist the child manage their life, it is good that you take action way before the child reaches he adult age. If you hesitate and wait till the kid comes of age, you might end up losing out on the benefits, and you won’t have the best legal ability to assist.
Ways to Protect Your Autistic Child
We have talked about guardianships as a way to protect your adult child and help them make the best decisions and negotiate the real world. We have other tools that we can use to make the life of the person easier and less restrictive.
When it comes to making the right choice, you will have to decide the level of protection that is ideal for the child and family situation.
Let us look at the options that you have:
Guardianship is a bit restrictive an extreme, because there are specific requirements that need to be met and the arrangement needs to be agreed upon by the judge in a court. Taking up the guardianship role means you take up the responsibility of the financial and medical responsibilities.
However, when you get a guardian for your child, they lose most of their rights as adults including applying for licenses, voting, getting married or serving on a jury.
The good thing is that the guardianship can be reversed or terminated. One of the parties that are involved in the agreement can petition the court for termination or modification. This also requires a court hearing, and the judge has the capacity to terminate the guardianship if they feel it is in the best interest of the ward to do this.
Power of Attorney (POA)
The POA is a legal document that provides an adult with the ability o make decisions on behalf of the other person. Many people have this POA set up just in case they become incapacitated and they can’t make decisions on their own.
If the adult with autism can make some decisions on their own but need assistance with others, then a POA can be used, avoiding the need for guardianship. The best thing about using a POA is that the individual doesn’t have to lose their rights as an adult. You can utilize guardianship attorney Bronx services to come up with the right POA for the child in question.
You might decide to appoint a temporary guardian with limited powers. The guardian will only be responsible for certain decisions. You can choose to make this permanent later on or just for a short time.
When is Guardianship the Perfect Choice According to Article 81 and Article 17-A
There are two primary forms of guardianship common in the New York law. One of them is Article 81 of the Mental Health law. The other one is Article 17A contained in the Surrogate Court Procedure Act. Both laws require a guardian to continually watch out for the welfare of the person under their care.
Article 81 guardianship is majorly used for the elderly and trauma victims although it may sometimes be used for individuals with mental or development-based disabilities.
In most cases, the guardian is only granted specific powers that the court deems necessary. These powers may apply to the incapacitated individual, their property, or both. They include the provision of basic needs as well as the management of their property.
Certain guardianship situations can only be resolved using Article 81 laws. For instance, if your elderly relative gets diagnosed with dementia, you may use the laws to establish a guardianship for them to be able to take care of their personal and property needs. 17A guardianship may not be effective in such a case.
When it comes to the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, Article 17A offers relief for guardianship cases involving individuals that are intellectually disabled. Similarly, the court uses Article 17A laws to appoint a guardian for an individual, their property, or both.
Under the SCPA law, a person can only be termed as intellectually or developmentally disabled after being certified by a licensed specialist. The disability may be a result of neurological impairment, head injury, or other conditions that affect the intellectual function of an individual.
If you are a parent and your developmentally disabled child is almost turning 18, you may need to establish Article 17A guardianship so that you retain the legal rights to continue making decisions on their behalf.
Both Article 81 and Article 17A involve complex guidelines. You might need the assistance of an experienced guardianship attorney to establish them in court.
Guardianship for autistic people can be the perfect idea, but only when the child has severe intellectual disabilities. If the person cannot make the right decisions when it comes to financial or health decisions, or sign a document without understanding the underlying implications then they need this arrangement.
You might have to talk about the arrangement with your kid so that they tell you what they feel about the entire arrangement.
Confident game on the legal field. We will protect you from problems!
Estate Planning Tips for Guardians
A guardian can be granted powers by the court to make decisions regarding a ward’s estate. This is sometimes referred to as conservatorship. A conservator is usually appointed to protect a ward that has in their possession vast monetary assets.
If the ward cannot manage the assets due to their situation of incapacity, a conservator will have to plan for what has to be done with the ward’s estate. This includes decisions to sell assets or to buy others. A conservator even has powers to decide about payment of a ward’s bills, manage their investments, and comply with tax obligations on behalf of the ward. This demands that the guardian or conservator possess good estate planning abilities. Here are estate planning tips for a guardian;
Segregate Financial Accounts
The court directs that a separate bank account be opened to which the ward’s monetary assets are marshaled. Comply and ensure that you have an account for the ward with the details determined by the court.
This will help in easily being able to track the flow of finances of the ward and monitor expenditure as you perform your functions as a conservator. You do not want to have to mix up your finances with those of the ward, which may bring problems with your accountancy. Understand the purpose for which the finances in the ward’s account have to be used.
Understand Expenditure That Requires Court Approval
Being a guardian over a ward’s estate does not give you limitless powers to decide on committing finances to whatever purposes you choose. Be clear about what you plan to do in handling the finances and ensure that you know the approvals you require for certain expenditures.
This includes understanding that you cannot, as a guardian, outsource management services over the ward’s estate and pay them without the court granting you the approval. As well, if you determine that part of the finances of the ward will be for lending out or that proper management may call for borrowing, prepare for the approvals that are required.
Understand The Records That You Have To Keep
Being an estate guardian or conservator comes with a requirement to account for how the ward’s estate is managed. This means you have to familiarize yourself with some basic accountancy practices. Know the documents you have to keep for accountability purposes and handle them to make your work easy when required to present them to court.
Knowing How To Manage The Estate To The Benefit Of The Ward
Essentially, your role is to advocate for the ward’s interests as you serve as their conservator. This means you have to know the ward’s needs and understand what you have to do in managing the estate that proves what you did in performing your duties as a conservator was to their benefit.
Set yourself to ensure that the causes to which you dedicate the ward’s assets go towards enhancing the protection of the estate. This includes striving to prevent the accumulation of liabilities and ensuring that all the ward obligations are honored.
Detailed Estate Plan
You should not be general in your estate plan. You have to identify and characterize all the assets that are on the ward’s name. You should then determine how you will be managing each estate. This ensures that you are comprehensive in your plan. Similarly, you should identify the liabilities and develop a plan for how you will manage them.
You should also categorize the monthly expenses of the ward and have an estimate of the required finances that have to be availed for each. This is essential as it helps ensure that you have everything figured out and that your management expenditure is planned as opposed to arbitrary. Your plan should entail all the facts and figures that should inform the decisions you will make on behalf of the plaintiff.
Segregating Expenditure From Yours
It has to be reiterated that serving as a ward requires you to be organized. It means that a guardian has to, themselves, be able to plan for their estate well. Understand the obligation that comes with a duty to plan for another person and the fact that you are liable for any bad decisions you make.
Besides handling the ward’s plan well, handle yours well for there not to be issues that cause accounting difficulty. Ensure that any fees you charge in serving as a guardian are legally covered.
Are Our Services the Perfect Solution?
Most people who have children fail to make guardianship plans early on. This is especially true for young families. However, no parent is too young to start thinking about establishing a guardian for their children.
Working with our guardianship attorney Bronx team is always in your best interest. We have the necessary legal knowledge required to handle the process and ensure that you select a feasible guardian for your child.
If anything was to happen to you today and the courts thought that your decision was unlawful, they may always make alterations on your selection for the best interest of your children.
Our practice helps you to remain in control of what happens to your child in the event of death. We are experts at handling all types of guardianships and your circumstance may not be new to us.
We possess many years of experience handling emergency guardianship, limited as well as successor guardianships. We always recommend that individuals select family members or close friends as guardians for their children.
The fact that there are several law firms in each state can make you spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a guardianship attorney to work with. Besides providing you with high-quality services, here are more reasons why you should consider being our client:
We Are Client-Oriented
We understand that without our clients, our firm cannot thrive. We, therefore, provide you with practical approaches that ensure you get assisted with your guardianship issues.
In addition to providing you with strategic advice, we always strive to develop solutions that help you achieve your objectives. We give each client top priority as we want to ensure that you receive answers to all your questions.
Our experienced guardianship attorneys handle each case with the same level of expertise and technology. We do not use guesswork when providing options for you. The solutions we recommend have been tried and tested on our previous clientele.
We possess several years of legal experience in handling guardianship matters. We have represented hundreds of individuals in the past and have always been ranked among the most established and well-respected legal firms that offer guardianship representation.
Our practice is multifaceted, meaning that we can handle other legal issues should they arise in the guardianship process. Unlike other firms that only specialize in one practice of law, we are also known for a wide range of legal disciplines. We are therefore capable of delivering comprehensive representation on complex matters and will never refer you elsewhere.
We Boast of Proven Results
For several years, individuals have come to us for assistance and they have ended up trusting our proven advocacy. We deliver our services in a more specialized, yet professional way.
Our attorneys are not general practitioners. They have been trained to give you personalized attention and representation. Many of them are accredited specialists when it comes to guardianship.
As our client, we will always share ideas with you and work closely together to ensure that you acquire the necessary knowledge about your case. Our industry-leading solutions and strategies ensure that your matter gets settled as quickly as possible and that challenges are resolved in good time.
One great benefit of working with us is the guarantee of getting positive outcomes the first time round. We always save you from the hassle of having to repeat any steps of the process by employing the right legal guidelines and procedures all the time.
Through getting it right on the first attempt, we always save our clients’ time and financial resources.
We are Experts at Providing Case-specific Guidance
Guardianship processes may sometimes become complex, especially where an incapacitated or disabled adult is involved. This is mostly true where emergency guardianship is needed after the sudden death of a parent.
Although you may feel that you are better placed to handle the process alone, it may not be easy for you especially if you do not understand the legalities involved.
For years now, we have been focusing on making each client’s case more personalized as a way of providing the best solution. We always highlight all the legal issues you may face during the case and advice you on how to handle them professionally.
We seek to capture the nitty-gritty of your guardianship matter, including those small details that are easily forgotten. We endeavor to provide you with timely information all the time.
We Have no Hidden Fees
No one likes surprises on their bills. Our practice always takes time to understand the complexity of your case before agreeing with you on payment terms. We believe that our financial quotes need to be transparent as early as the time of initial consultation.
We also aim to deliver value against each quote, ensuring that the quality of our services remains greater than what you pay us. We always like to discuss with our clients to come up with favorable payment plans. Such may include fixed or hourly rates depending on what you prefer.
In terms of fixed charges, we meet you to discuss the scope of your guardianship case before fixing the costs. While most litigation firms do not offer this kind of arrangement, we are always open to discuss this with you depending on the requirements of your case.
When it comes to time-billed arrangements, you will work with our guardianship attorney Bronx team and we bill you depending on the amount of time the attorney spends on your matter. We will discuss the mode of billing and payment terms with you before starting to work on your case.
We Offer Proper Resolutions
Genuine care for our clients has always been at the core of our practice. Our team has a track record of personalized care and approachable personality when handling clients of different backgrounds.
We aim at understanding the kind of client we are dealing with as a way of treating them as they would want us to be. We always put ourselves in your shoes and devise the best way to handle your legal as well as personal needs.
We have invested in systems and technologies that help us deliver our services in streamlined processes. We are keen to have you on board as a contributor to your legal affairs and will always consult you in case we need more clarification about your case.
We do not ignore you during the process. It is always our pleasure to incorporate your input into the case because all we want is to deliver results that are geared towards achieving your interests.
We assist you to process any legal paperwork required for your guardianship and can always represent you in court when the need arises.
We Have a Track Record of Offering Guardianship Advice
For you to initiate guardianship or serve as a guardian for a loved one there are several criteria that we look at. These vary from state to state. Basically you must be related to a ward, are an adoptive parent or a spouse of a qualified guardian to be considered by the court.
Our firm has helped several clients to establish if they qualify as guardians. In case you meet the criteria of your state, we provide you with the right procedures to follow to initiate the petition for guardianship.
We understand that the process can become complicated, especially if you fail to file the necessary paperwork. Engaging us during this stage helps you to ensure that you take the necessary steps to get started.
Through our thoughtful advice and approaches, we have assisted several individuals to navigate challenging guardianship processes. We use this experience to provide you with the right counsel required to win your case.
We are Responsive and Agile
We understand that legal cases need to be concluded as quickly as possible. The size of our firm allows us to be more flexible when it comes to service delivery. Our guardianship attorneys focus on offering each client the kind of attention they deserve while also delivering on court deadlines and expectations.
We work extra hard not to miss any appointments with you and the court. We always take the initiative to inform you of the progress of your guardianship matter. We do not wait for clients to come to us for information.
Our guardianship attorney Bronx team is effective at communication and has been trained to handle clients with a lot of understanding. We do not keep bothering you with unnecessary information.
We understand that time is money and therefore treat every aspect of your case with the seriousness it deserves. We always leverage on technological tools to keep our overheads low. We make use of the latest legal software to ensure that our guardianship attorneys collaborate more seamlessly.
We also understand that some of our clients are busy during the day and may not find time to engage us at this time. That is why we are flexible to meet with you in the evenings after work or during weekends. We believe that you need to be free to consult us at any time and take pride in always being on standby to handle your concerns.
How we work:
Our usual process
Step 1 – Contact
Step 2 – Review and Analysis
Step 3 – Additional Screening
Step 4– Work Ethics
Step 5 – Results
1. Communication with the client.
Every day, our experts are ready to advise you for free!
2. Problem analysis
After providing legal advice and analysis of your documents.
3. Performance of work
The work process of our company’s specialists is based on complete transparency and constant informing of the client.
4. Positive result
After the court has satisfied your claims
5. Your rating, our work
Then we deliver the specified documents to you at a convenient time for you
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Frequently Asked Questions
There are not so many places that one can seek help from, except through the courts or asking the family lawyer for guidance. Some states have online information on how to go about some situations, while others have customer care stations at the court to answer any simple questions.
In some states, there are guardianship community programs that have been put in place for guardians to come and share their experiences and support each other throughout the whole season. These are the most effective help centers for anyone who is already a guardian, or someone who wants to be a guardian.
If you cannot access any of the above, you can go to your local court and seek help from the court attorneys. There are always a number of them available for consultation in case of any questions or need for information.
The reason one is given guardianship is that they are capable of performing the roles that a biological parent cannot perform. A guardian assumes legal responsibility for someone, and if any third-party notices that they have become unfit for the role, then the guardianship is terminated. Someone else will be appointed by the court to take over the guardianship role.
Some of the issues that can lead to the conclusion that one is unfit for the guardianship role to include:
- If the guardian cannot provide basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing for the child/adult
- If they have no source of income and instead depend on the child’s assets for their survival
- If the guardian becomes disabled and can no longer offer the required care to the ward
As much as guardians have legal rights over their ward, there are some things that they cannot do:
- You cannot move the ward from your state to another without the approval of the court.
- The guardian cannot assign someone else guardianship over their ward without going through the court
- You cannot intentionally jeopardize the security or health of the person under your care. This can lead to termination of the guardianship
- Disposing of the person’s assets or property without their consent
- Terminating guardianship without involving the court and going through the right process of having the person gets assigned to another guardian
- Abandoning the person whom you should be protecting. This is unacceptable and the court will terminate the guardianship contract.
When a child is born out of wedlock or marriage, the mother becomes the automatic guardian of the child. The father, on the other hand, does not get mandatory appointment as a guardian. If the father of the child is with the mother and they are living together, then he also becomes an automatic guardian to the child.
If the mother and father are not together, then they can choose to sign a petition in court to make them joint guardians to make things easier. In such situations, the mother is the one who gets priority and determines who the guardian will be.
The only time this changes is if the mother decides to give the child up for adoption. She will then lose the rights she has over the guardianship of the child.
Yes, you can. With age comes dementia, and you wouldn’t want to be stranded with papers that need to be signed by your mother or father when they can no longer do it. Once you notice that your parent’s health is deteriorating, you need to petition for guardianship so you can help them run their businesses and even manage their property.
Most old people become skeptical when it comes to handing over the power to someone else, but you need to let them know that guardianship has its limits and a lot of approval has to be made by the court before any major financial decisions are made.
The other option is to have your parents work on an estate plan while they are still fit, to avoid the hustles of going through the guardianship process. With an attorney, you can help your parents make a clear plan of how they want things to run and they will not have to worry about someone else making financial mistakes on what they have invested in.