Mental Incapacity

What's the Definition of Mental Incapacity & How Does it Impact Guardianship?

The law operates on the assumption that adult individuals have capacity, meaning that they are capable of making decisions concerning their financial and personal needs and so are best situated to make decisions on their own behalf. Mental incapacity definition is important.

In New York, in the 1980’s, the state revisited its guardianship statutes; including reviewing the definition of incapacity, instituting procedural safeguards for the alleged incapacitated person, and imposing greater judicial scrutiny of the acts of guardians. The result has been the creation of a new form of guardianship, and a greater judicial sensitivity to the need to balance the protection of individuals with diminished capacity against their right to autonomy and self-determination.

In determining whether to appoint a guardian for a person's personal needs or financial management, a Court will examine a person's functional ability and any harm that may result from a person's functional limitations.  In situations where a guardian is needed, the Court will shape the appointment to a person's need's and limit the guardian's powers so the guardianship will be as limited as possible.

I have both commenced and defended proceedings on behalf of clients.  I have also assisted family members and friends advance the interests of individuals who may be in need of assistance due to incapacities resulting from, illness, age or medical conditions.

I have represented many individuals and family members in Guardianship. Also, on numerous occasions I have served as Court Evaluator reporting to the Court and providing recommendations concerning the appointment of a Guardian.

For personalized attentive service, please call (212) 355-2575 or visit me at 845 Third Avenue, Suite 1400, New York, NY 10022 (near 52nd Street).