518-250-4264

11 British American Blvd., Latham, NY 12110

Guardianship in New York

Serving Clients in the New York Capital District, Albany County and the Surrounding Area


When an person becomes incapacitated due to an accident, illness or old age, they will need someone to manage their affairs for them. The same is true when a person has mental retardation or a developmental disability. In both situations a guardian needs to be appointed to care for the person and manage the financial affairs of the person. In New York State, there are two different types of guardianships that can be pursued. Under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, a guardian can be appointed for a person who has become incapacitated due to an accident, illness or old age (such as in the case of the onset of dementia). Under Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, a guardianship can be pursued for persons determined to be mentally retarded or developmentally disabled. If one of your family members is in need of either type of guardianship, we can assist you through the guardianship application process.

Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law Guardianship

If a person becomes incapacitated and thus incapable of managing his or her own personal and financial affairs, and a durable power of attorney is not in place for the person, a guardianship proceeding under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law may be necessary. An Article 81 guardianship proceeding allows for the appointment of another person ( a “guardian”) to manage the incapacitated person’s affairs in the least restrictive way to the incapacitated person.

Once appointed by the court, the guardian will have responsibility for the incapacitated person’s care and property, including making decisions on medical treatment and managing and protecting assets and income. The guardian is required to file an initial and annual reports that advise the court about the status of the care and property of the incapacitated person. The guardianship will continue until the incapacitated person recovers or passes away.

An Article 81 guardianship proceeding can be either uncontested or contested by the incapacitated person or other family members. Accordingly, it is critical to have representation by an attorney experienced in such proceedings. If you need assistance establishing a guardianship, we have the experience to help. We can represent you in Article 81 guardianship proceedings throughout New York State including in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren and Washington counties.

Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act Guardianship

When a person is determined to be mentally retarded or developmentally disabled (from conditions such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, neurological impairment, autism or traumatic head injury) and cannot manage his or her own personal and financial affairs, a guardianship proceeding under Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act may be necessary. An Article 17-A proceeding allows for the appointment of another person (a “guardian”) to manage the mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person’s affairs.

Once appointed by the court, the guardian will have responsibility for the mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person’s care and property, including making decisions on medical treatment and managing and protecting assets and income. The guardianship will remain under the court’s jurisdiction and will continue until the person passes away or until terminated by the court.

An Article 17-A guardianship proceeding can be either uncontested or contested by various people, including other family members of the person. Accordingly, it is critical to have representation by an attorney experienced in such proceedings. If you need assistance establishing a guardianship, we have the experience to help. We can represent you in Article 17-A guardianship proceedings throughout New York State including in Albany, Columbia, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren and Washington counties.

Contact Us

If you have a question, a comment, or simply want to have a conversation and explore how we can help, we'd love to hear from you.

Rowlands & LeBrou, PLLC

11 British American Blvd.
Latham, NY 12110

Phone: 518-250-4264

Email: jim@rowlands-lebrou.com