If a child turns 18 and is incapable of caring for themselves and making decisions, due to an intellectual or developmental disability, New York has a proceeding in Surrogate’s Court, commonly referred to as an Article 17-A guardianship, that authorizes the Court to appoint a parent, other family member, or other interested party, to make decisions.  The guardianship can be for financial/legal matters, personal matters, or both.  

The Article 17-A proceeding requires certifications from two doctors, or one doctor and one licensed psychologist, that the intellectual or developmental disability exists, has existed generally prior to the individual turning 21 years old, and is unlikely to improve as the individual ages.  The guardian appointed would have very broad powers to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual – similar to the parental rights that a parent would have over a minor child.

No one plans on being developmentally disabled, or intellectually challenged.   At Taroff Taitz LLP, we do believe in taking care of those that cannot take care of themselves, and we believe that endeavor is honorable.  Further, planning for the possible eventuality that it might be you that needs to have a guardian, is appropriate, and saves stress on your loved ones should that day arrive.

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