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New York StateUnified Court System

Elder Law - Guardianship


Overview

360 Adams Street, Room 285
Brooklyn, NY 11201
347-296-1757

A guardianship petition under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law is brought when a person requires some form of assistance in meeting their personal and property management needs. In the event that a finding of incapacity is made by the court, or upon the consent of the subject party, the court will direct the least restrictive form of intervention which assists them in meeting their personal and property management needs but, at the same time, permits them to exercise the independence and self-determination of which they are capable.

Frequently Asked Questions | Sample Forms | Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I become a Guardian of my relative/friend?

2. Where do I get an attorney?

3. How and where do I file my bond?

4. What is the Oath Designation and Commission?

5. The Order that appointed me Guardian directed that I take a Guardianship Course. Where do I take this course and how to I register?

6. Who is my Court Examiner and how do I get in touch with him/her?

7. What is the Initial Report and where do I file it?

8. What is an Annual Accounting and when and where do I file it?

9. My ward died. What do I do?

10. What is the Final Accounting and how am I discharged as Guardian?


1. How do I become a Guardian of my relative/friend?

A Guardianship Proceeding is commenced by the filing of an Order to Show Cause, Notice of Petition, and Petition. They must be filed in the form and manner described in Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law. Sample forms are available in the Guardianship Office, Room 285.

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2. Where do I get an attorney?

You may get a referral from your local Bar Association.

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3. How and where do I file my bond?

Refer to your Yellow Pages or Law Journal for a surety company. It is approved in the Guardianship Office (Room 285) and then filed with the County Clerk and Clerk of the Court, Room 122.

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4. What is the Oath Designation and Commission?

The Oath is a sworn statement that you are a citizen of the U.S.A. and at least 18 years of age, and you will faithfully and honestly discharge your duties as Guardian. The designation is part of the same form and directs the County Clerk to accept service of papers for you if after due diligence you cannot be found or served within New York State. The Commission is an acknowledgment of your appointment which enables you to marshal the Incapacitated Persons assets and provide for their personal needs.

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5. The Order that appointed me Guardian directed that I take a Guardianship Course. Where do I take this course and how to I register?

View a list of upcoming approved courses or contact your local bar association.

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6. Who is my Court Examiner and how do I get in touch with him/her?

The name, address, and telephone number of the Court Examiner can be found in the Order and Judgment that appointed you the Guardian.

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7. What is the Initial Report and where do I file it?

The Initial Report is a verified statement to the Court that you have completed the course, filed your bond, received your commission, and contains a description of the date, time and place of your visits with the Incapacitated Person. It also sets forth the provisions for medical or related services, as well as social and personal services, applications for benefits, and a true and full account of all of the Incapacitated Person's assets that you have marshaled. This report is filed in the County Clerk, Room 122.

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8. What is an Annual Accounting and when and where do I file it?

The Annual Accounting is a verified and sworn statement, due each year during the month of May. This accounting describes the condition of the Incapacitated Person, the measures you have taken to provide for the personal needs and a true and full account of the assets marshaled, income collected and disbursements you have made. This report is filed in the County Clerk, Room 122.

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9. My ward died. What do I do?

You must inform the Court and the Court Examiner in writing within 30 days, supply a copy of the Death Certificate and file an Ex-Parte Order requesting permission to file a Final Accounting of the Proceeding.

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10. What is the Final Accounting and how am I discharged as Guardian?

The Final Accounting is a true and full account of all money and property of the Incapacitated Person that have come into your hands as Guardian, the disbursements you have made and the balance in the Guardianship accounts. This account generally runs from the last judicially approved Annual Accounting. A motion is required to judicially approve this accounting. After the Final Account is approved, an order is filed with the Court with an affidavit that you have fully complied with the Court's direction in the Order settling the Final Account.

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Sample Forms


All of the forms mentioned in the Frequently Asked Questions are available in the Guardianship Office, Room 285.

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Added 7/16/2013: 00 - Instruction Sheet for Petition
Added 7/16/2013: 01 - SAMPLE Notice of Guardianship Proceeding
Added 7/16/2013: 02 - Order to Show Cause

Rev. 5/31/2013: Order & Judgment with Instructions

Rev. 7/16/2013: Order & Judgment Checklist

Added 9/20/2013: Annual Report Sample - PERSON ONLY This report may be used ONLY for the guardianship of a Person. For a guardianship of the person AND property, please see the Guardianship Assistance Network's (GAN) site for a sample.

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Additional Resources

Guardianship Assistance Network (GAN)

 

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