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Guardianship Succession Bill Signed by Cuomo

August 10th, 2012

A proposed revision made by the NYSARC, Inc. Guardianship Committee in April was passed by both Houses of Legislature and signed by Governor Cuomo on August 1, 2012.

The changes made to the Guardianship Bill are listed below:

  • Chapter 294 of the Laws of 2012 ensures that standby or alternate guardians of developmentally disabled individuals can expeditiously assume their guardianship responsibilities upon the death or incapacity of the primary guardian.
  • Under the prior law, the failure to notify the standby or alternate meant that an individual with a developmental disability often went without a guardian for an indeterminate period of time.
  • This change, Chapter 294, puts a procedure in place, including written notification, to assure that a standby or alternate guardian will be appointed if the primary guardian is no longer able to assume his or her responsibilities for a person with a developmental disability.

At the age of 18, your child, whether with a disability or not, reaches the age of majority and is “emancipated” (free to make their own decisions without parental input). In the case of a child with a disability, he or she is emancipated unless a guardian is appointed. If you are a parent or a family member seeking guardianship for your child, you are required to apply to Court to get requisite authority. There may be certain circumstances where there are alternatives to guardianship. It is extremely important to discuss guardianship and possible alternatives with a qualified attorney who specializes in this area. To learn more, visit www.specialneedsnewyork.com.

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