Fratello Law

17-A Guardianship Attorney Smithtown, NY

Understand the 18 year old decision making process from an Experienced guardianship Attorney specializing in article 17-A

When an individual reaches the age of 18 in New York State, the law considers them legal adults who can make decisions for themselves. Therefore, no one else is allowed to make personal, medical, or financial decisions on their behalf. However, when individuals cannot make independent decisions due to intellectual or developmental disabilities, this situation can threaten their safety and well-being.

One option for someone concerned about the welfare of a disabled individual who is nearing age 18 or is already 18 years or older is Article 17-A Guardianship. Filing an Article 17-A Guardianship petition can be complex, and you may feel overwhelmed by the legal process. Our Fratello Law guardianship law team has more than 120 years of combined experience advocating for New York residents. By combining community connections with compassion and understanding of the legal process, we are able to provide clients with highly qualified legal representation. Start the Article 17-A process today and call (631) 406-5580.

Schedule a free guardianship consult today.

Suffolk Office: (631) 406-5580
Nassau Office: (516) 321-4010

What Is Article 17-A Petition Guardianship?

The New York Article 17-A Guardianship Petition refers to a legal process through which individuals can request the appointment of a guardian for a person with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Article 17-A is a section of the New York Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act that explicitly addresses the appointment and authority of guardians of the person and property for individuals with disabilities.

Under Article 17-A, the petitioner, often a parent or close family member, caregiver, or concerned individual, initiates the process and files the petition for guardianship. The petition outlines why a guardian is necessary and provides relevant information about the person with disabilities. Once the petition is filed, a judge in the Surrogate Court will review the petition, conduct an evaluation, if required, and decide the appointment of a guardian.

While the program’s main purpose is to provide support and protection for individuals who struggle to manage their own affairs due to their disabilities, the 17-A program is the most restrictive type of guardianship in the State of New York. The 17-A guardianship encompasses a wide range of decisions typically made by a parent on behalf of their child. Before making a decision, families considering Article 17-A guardianship should first explore alternative options that offer protection while preserving the disabled person’s ability to make certain decisions. Several less restrictive alternatives include Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Supported Decision Making, and an Article 81 Guardianship.

What Information Is Needed to Petition For Article 17-A?

In New York, any concerned adult may file a 17-A guardianship petition. However, several vital pieces of information are required to complete the New York Article 17-A guardianship process. While the specific requirements may vary slightly depending on the situation, the following encompasses the types of information your lawyer must collect:

  • The name, address, and birth date of the disabled person
  • The name, address, and birth date of the disabled person’s parents and siblings
  • If one of the parents died, the date of their death
  • If one of the siblings died, the name, address, and birth date of the disabled person’s nieces and nephews
  • If the disabled person is married and/or has children:
  • The name, address, and birth date of their spouse
  • The name, address, and birth date of their children
  • If the disabled person does not have living parents, siblings, children, or a spouse:
  • The name and address of the disabled person’s living grandparents
  • If the disabled person lives in a group home:
  • The name and address of the group home
  • The name and address of the group home’s director
  • Each proposed guardian, standby guardian, and alternate standby guardian:
  • Name
  • Maiden names and aliases
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Education level
  • If applying for guardianship of property:
  • If the disabled person receives income from employment, pension, trust, social security, unemployment benefits, or other annual income: the total amount of yearly income from each.
  • If the disabled person has personal property, like a bank account, life insurance policy, or other personal property: the account information and balances.
  • If the disabled person owns real estate: the address, percentage owned, rental income, value, and mortgage amount.
  • Required medical evaluations

Navigating the legal process and providing the required documentation to the Surrogate Court can be confusing and may be challenging depending on your situation and relationship to the individual. When filing a 17-A petition, you will want to consult with your attorney about the situation and discuss whether the program suits the individual and the options available.

Why Contact an Article 17-A Guardianship Attorney

An attorney experienced in Article 17-A guardianship possesses knowledge of the specific laws and regulations governing guardianship in New York. Their understanding of the legal process, requirements, and responsibilities associated with 17-A guardianship allows them to provide accurate guidance tailored to your situation. They will help you navigate the complex legal system by offering up-to-date information based on current laws.

The proceedings in securing 17-A guardianship can be intricate, involving many legal documents and court procedures. Attempting to handle these proceedings without a legal representative’s assistance can be risky and may expose you to potential legal issues concerning your petition. By having an attorney on your side, you can feel confident knowing your case is being handled professionally and within your best interests.

Speak With Fratello Law for an Experienced Article 17-A Guardianship Attorney Today

When you work with professional and compassionate attorneys at Fratello Law, you gain trustworthy legal representation. Our team has over 120 years of combined experience guiding individuals through complex guardianship cases and understanding their challenges. We are a small firm with a big heart and are passionate about uplifting those within our community.

Our clients always know we have their back and work in their best interest. By treating our clients with respect and like our own family, we build a solid foundation of trust and ensure they feel comfortable discussing their concerns with us. Call (631) 406-5580 or complete our contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation today.

One of Long Island’s Most Trusted

Regardless of your loved one’s situation, our experienced guardianship attorneys in Long Island understand exactly what you are going through and will be right by your side through the entire guardianship planning process. We have more than 120 years of combined experience supporting those seeking guardians and will use those years of experience to ensure your wishes, all the while ensuring your loved one’s best interest, are upheld. This is part of what makes us one of the most trusted guardianship planning firms in the Long Island area.

What Makes Fratello Law Different

We are one of the select firms on Long Island with attorneys on staff who focus solely on guardianship planning. But more importantly, we treat our clients like people. We are respectful and take the time to understand your unique needs and concerns. Our dedicated guardianship lawyers in Long Island work efficiently and diligently to make sure you have a plan that works for you and your loved ones. This means more support for your loved ones and less stress during your time of need. Ultimately, our goal is to build a lasting relationship with every client we work with. Schedule a free consultation with us to get started with your case. 

Guardianship Services We Offer

Article 81 Guardianship

An Article 81 guardianship proceeding is typically used to petition the court to appoint a legal guardian, including the elderly and disabled, with cognitive or functional limitations that are likely to cause them financial or personal harm. The goal of Article 81 guardianship is to secure a guardian who will be given the legal power to act on behalf of a person with cognitive limitations to manage their property and personal needs. The attorneys at Fratello Law will use their broad experience to help you apply for and maintain an Article 81 guardianship for your loved one.

Article 17A Guardianship

In New York, the parents of your disabled loved one are deemed their Parent and Natural Guardian until they turn 18. Once your loved one turns 18, New York State law deems them a competent adult capable of managing their everyday lives on their own. However, this is not always appropriate. Article 17A Guardianship allows you to remain the guardian of your diasbled loved one and care for their physical and financial needs beyond the age of 18. At Fratello, our experienced attorneys will guide you through the process of applying for and maintaining Article 17A Guardianship.

Guardianship Accounting

If the court finds it necessary, a guardian is appointed to manage the assets and property of your disabled loved one. If you are appointed by the court as your loved one’s guardian, you are responsible for overseeing and using your loved one’s funds to support their wellbeing. In addition to using the funds, as a guardian you are also responsible for guardianship accounting, which requires you to keep a detailed record of all your loved one’s income and expenses. Our expert attorneys can take the burden of guardianship accounting off of your plate, so you can spend more quality time with your loved one.

Change of Guardian

Sometimes an appointed guardian can no longer serve as a guardian. A guardian can voluntarily resign because they no longer want to be the guardian and a new guardian can be appointed by the court. If a guardian is no longer capable or suited to be the guardian, you can petition the court for the removal of the unsuitable guardian. Our attorneys have extensive experience helping people like you and their loved ones exercise all three of these options to serve the best interests of their loved ones.