February 06, 2023

How Can a New York Guardianship Be Terminated?

book with title guardianshipsA guardianship is a legal arrangement where a court grants a person the authority to make decisions for someone who cannot make those decisions for themselves.

If you or a loved one have been under legal guardianship in New York, you know how challenging it can be to navigate the system. Guardianships are necessary for some situations, but there may come when they are no longer needed.

Legal Guardianships: When and Why They Are Necessary

Guardianships may be necessary for many reasons. They are most common in cases where a child’s parents cannot care for them, or an adult is incapacitated due to mental illness, mental deficiency, disease, or mental incapacity. If a child inherits assets, a guardian over the child’s estate may also be needed to protect those assets until the child is an adult.

The most well-known procedure for appointing a Guardian is under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL). The appointment of a guardian requires clear and convincing evidence, with a court hearing focusing on the functional abilities of the person alleged to be incapacitated. If a guardian is found to be needed, the court can structure or apply guardianship control in a limited way to suit the needs of the individual.

While guardianship is in effect, the guardian is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the protected person. When the protected person is an adult, the guardianship lasts until they can care for themselves. If the protected person is a child, the guardianship lasts until they graduate high school or turns 18 or 21, depending on circumstances.

Avenues for Terminating a Guardianship in New York

How hard is it to terminate guardianship? Terminating guardianship for incapacity or disability in the state of New York can be a complex process, and there are several avenues you can follow to achieve it.

Part of the MHL 81.36 entitled “discharge or modification of powers of guardian” allows the court to terminate a guardianship if the incapacitated person can exercise powers for personal needs or property management or the appointment of a guardian is no longer necessary.

Article 17A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) is another procedural avenue for obtaining a guardian when a person is developmentally or intellectually disabled. However, Article 81 has much more refined requirements than the Article 17A methodology in that there is little room for the court to mold the guardianship powers and implementation.

How Do You Terminate a Guardianship in New York?

The ward needs to initiate the process of terminating guardianship in New York. They must submit a petition to the court that requests the termination of the guardianship. The petition must clearly state the reasons why guardianship is no longer necessary and why it should be terminated. The court will then review the petition and decide based on the facts presented.

Seek Legal Help From Attorneys in Guardianship in NY

If you seek to terminate a guardianship in New York, it is crucial to consult with an attorney with experience handling guardianship matters. At Strazzullo Law Firm, we have a proven track record of success in helping clients navigate the legal system and achieve their desired outcomes.

We know how exactly you should deal when terminating guardianships and ensuring your needs are met. Our experienced lawyers are committed to helping individuals with various legal matters. We understand that legal challenges can be stressful and challenging, and we are dedicated to helping our clients confidently move forward.

We have attorneys across New York, including various regions of New York. Additionally, we have a presence in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the upstate regions of New York. Whether you are looking for a Brooklyn estate planning attorney or need help in guardianship New York, we can provide you with the legal assistance you seek. Call us now for a consultation.