Guardianship of a Person Who is Intellectually Disabled or Developmentally Disabled

In New York State, when a person becomes 18 years old they are assumed to be legally competent to make decision for themselves. This means no other person is allowed to make a personal, medical or financial decision for that individual. If a person is "intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled," has difficulty making decisions for themselves and over 18 years old, you can ask the Surrogate's Court to appoint a guardian for him or her.


About Article 17-A Guardianship

An Article 17-A Guardianship is available only for individuals who are "intellectually disabled or developmentally disabled." These are the legal terms used in Article 17-A of the Surrogate's Court Procedures Act.

A certification from one physician and one psychologist or two physicians must be filed with the petition certifying that the person has a disability and is not able to manage his or her affairs because of intellectual disability, developmental disability or a traumatic head injury. The Surrogate's Court can appoint a guardian of the person, the property or both.

An Article 17-A Guardianship is very broad and covers most decisions that are usually made by a parent for a child such as financial and healthcare decisions. To start your case, use the free and easy DIY Forms program to make your petition or you can contact the Surrogate's Court for an Article 17A Guardianship Packet.

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