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Responsibilities in becoming a guardian of your parent

As your parent ages, you notice their health and hygiene deteriorating. You believe they cannot properly care for themselves, and you worry about them making sound decisions with their property and finances. In the state of New York, you may legally obtain guardianship of your parent if he or she proves incapacitated.

Applying for guardianship constitutes a selfless act. You want to ensure that your parent receives proper care, and you hope to provide them security in knowing their medical and financial decisions lie in your hands. Guardianship offers the opportunity for you to care for your parent as he or she may no longer have the ability to do so themselves. When applying for guardianship, you may wish to hire an experienced attorney to help you in developing a sound case for your guardianship rights.

Guardianship responsibilities in New York

According to New York law, guardianship of your elderly parent will fall under “Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult” if your parent no longer can take care of themselves. Determining your exact responsibilities, you will need to petition specifically for individual access to multiple areas of your parent’s life including:

  • Finances
  • Property
  • Contractual agreements
  • Personal care
  • Medical conditions
  • Confidential records
  • Government benefits
  • Medical treatment

After petitioning and outlining your requested responsibilities with the help of your attorney, a court evaluator will review your petition and conduct assessments of your parents current mental, physical and financial state. This court evaluator determines whether your request for guardianship is valid and a hearing will take place after the assessments.

In addition to managing affairs in financials and medical treatment, you must also follow five duties that guardians generally hold. These include:

  1. Only exercising your legally-obtained powers of guardianship
  2. Use the utmost care when acting on behalf of your parent
  3. Exhibit loyalty, trust and fidelity with your parent’s decisions
  4. File reports
  5. Visit your parent no less than four times per year

If your parent can no longer comprehend their financial affairs or accurately take care of themselves, you can apply to be their guardian in New York. An attorney will help you draft a petition that includes all of your requested rights to the care of your parent, and a court evaluator and judge will determine that your parent needs guardianship.

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