By making prior arrangements for the care and welfare of a disabled child, you have the peace of mind that your child will be taken care of when you are no longer able to do so if you become physically or mentally incapacitated or you are no longer there. A guardianship can be established which may include provisions for caring for your child’s personal and financial needs. Decisions regarding where your child will live, education, medical care and day-to-day living needs as well as management of assets that you may provided for the care of your child should be addressed in the guardianship.
Since most families are unfamiliar with how Long Island guardianships are established, they will usually contact a Long Island estate and guardianship attorney to assist them with the establishment of a guardianship and for other estate planning advice.
Who May Act as Guardian?
Under New York law, a guardian must be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of the United States. When choosing a guardian, it is important to select the right person to handle such an important task. The guardian should be someone you trust and who is capable and has the time to take on the responsibilities given to them. Guardians can be one of your other family members such as the disabled child’s grandparent, aunt or uncle. Often times, parents choose one of their other adult children to act as the guardian of their disabled child.
A guardian may be appointed to act as the guardian of the person or the property or both. The guardian of the property takes care of the financial matters, investments and paying bills, while the guardian of the person is responsible for the welfare and care of the person on a day-to-day basis. So for example, you may want to give your brother, who is a CPA, the responsibility of being the guardian of the property, and appoint your adult daughter the guardian of the person. It is also a good idea to have backup guardians in case your brother or daughter are unable to take on their responsibility due to poor health, age or other reasons.
If you need to establish a guardianship or prepare other estate planning documents such as a will or trust, it is recommended that you speak with a Long Island probate and estate attorney to help you with your financial planning needs. The attorney will sit down with you and strategize about how to maximize your assets so your family gets to inherit more, and you save estate taxes.
If you wish to speak to a Long Island estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.
Estate Planning and Guardianship For Your Disabled Child in Long Island