New York law has mechanisms in place called Guardianships that protect the interests of disabled adults.
Article 81 Guardianships are proceedings that allow for an individual or individuals to make decisions for an adult that has lost the mental capacity to take adequate care of themselves. Both financial and healthcare decisions may be requested by a proposed Guardian. In many cases, Article 81 Guardianships are brought because no Power of Attorney or Health Care Proxy was executed. Sometimes advance directives exist, but there are issues with the agents or named representatives which lead to the initiation of Article 81 Guardianships. Nursing homes often petition to obtain Article 81 Guardianship over a resident if facility staff are concerned that payment or Medicaid Applications will not be handled to their satisfaction. Our legal representation is focused on protecting vulnerable individuals and their families during this difficult time.
Article 17A Guardianships provide a means for families to continue making healthcare and financial decisions for a disabled child once they turn 18. Navigating Social Security and other state and federal governmental entitlements is difficult without a 17A Guardianship. The Feller Group, P.C. will work with a family to complete the Court documents, guide them through the process and appear with them at Court Hearings. Once an Article 17A Guardianship is completed, Supplemental Needs Trusts may be created with Court Approval to hold and protect assets for the ward as they age while not adversely impacting Medicaid and SSI benefits.