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Suffolk County Guardianships

Suffolk County Lawyer for Estate Planning

Suffolk County is located on Long Island, and has an estimated population of just below 1.5 million residents, the fourth-largest county in New York. It is home to Stony Brook University, as well as the greatest number of lighthouses of any county in the United States. It is well known for its many beaches, as well as its high per-capita income. In Suffolk County, as in other places, sometimes there are adults or children who are in need of someone to look after their affairs. The court can appoint a guardian to take care of a minor whose parent is deceased or incapacitated, or to take care of an incapacitated or disabled adult. There are a few different processes you can follow to have a guardian appointed in New York. It is advisable to consult an experienced Suffolk County guardianship attorney to make sure that you use the appropriate process for your situation, whether you are seeking to establish a guardianship or to fight against an inappropriate guardianship.


A person who needs a guardianship is considered a ward or incapacitated person. Legal guardians are empowered by the court to make decisions for the incapacitated individual. The precise scope of the guardianship may depend on the process used to obtain it.

Article 81 Guardianships

Article 81 guardianships are highly specific with regard to the scope of the guardian’s authority. Generally, the court appoints a court evaluator who can meet with the potential ward and investigate whether a guardianship is appropriate and what powers the guardian should have. For example, there are disabled individuals who cannot manage their finances, but are competent to make decisions about their medical care. The guardianship in those cases may be restricted to financial decision-making. For another example, a guardianship proceeding can be used to freeze a bank account where there is a suspicion that somebody is taking advantage of a disabled person by fraudulently inducing money transfers. The court may appoint a guardian to start a proceeding to recover the funds that were fraudulently taken. For yet another example, caring for an incapacitated person can be an expensive experience, and it may be necessary to get Medicaid eligibility for a residential facility. This is also a task that the court can charge the guardian with.

If you are seeking or contesting a guardianship, there will be a hearing about the guardianship. It is very important to hire a guardianship lawyer in Suffolk County to handle Article 81 proceedings. Sometimes, the court appoints a lawyer for the incapacitated person.

At an Article 81 guardianship hearing, a petitioner asking for a guardian to be appointed will need to present the court with clear and convincing proof that the incapacitated or disabled person is unable to manage certain elements of their personal lives or financial affairs. The appointed court evaluator also presents a report. There is an opportunity to oppose the guardianship, and the court renders a decision after the hearing.

Article 17 and 17-A Guardianships

Sometimes minors need guardians when parents pass away or become too sick to care for them, and it may be appropriate to file an Article 17 guardianship in Surrogate’s Court. A legal guardian may be appointed for a minor, and as a minor’s legal guardian, an adult may keep physical custody of the minor and also control the minor’s property. Courts may appoint an adult guardian to care for a minor who is not the child of the adult guardian. In some cases, parents have anticipated this possibility and named a guardian in their wills, and that guardian can be appointed by the court. A skilled Suffolk County guardianship lawyer can help establish guardianships involving minors.

When minors who have intellectual or developmental disabilities grow up and turn 18, they may not have capacity to make their own decisions. In these cases, it also may be appropriate to file an Article 17A guardianship petition in Surrogate’s Court. The Article 17A guardianship may be over the person or their property, and sometimes it is a guardianship over both. This is a broad type of guardianship, in which most choices made by a parent, including decisions about finances and medical care, are assigned to the guardian (who may be a parent).

Consult an Experienced Guardianship Attorney in Suffolk County

Jules Haas has worked with clients trying to obtain or oppose guardianships for more than 35 years. He provides tenacious, careful, and trustworthy legal representation in Suffolk County. Whether you are seeking a guardianship or opposing a petition for guardianship, call us at (212) 355-2575 or contact us through our online form. Call for a free consultation.

Client Reviews
I am very grateful to Mr. Jules Martin Haas attorney of law in New York. I am from Buenos Aires Argentina. He managed with expertise a very difficult situation. of a complicate heritage from my aunt Anna Grodzka that lived and died a very long time ago in New York. I recommend him not only for his extraordinary knowledge but also for his kindness. Irma CW Peusner
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services. Diana Janer
I just completed an estate transaction where Jules Haas represented my client in an estate and he did a great job! He was very quick at responding to all matters throughout the sale process, he was detailed, he was knowledgeable and he was a pleasure to work with. I just recommended him to some new clients who are going through an estate matter and will continue to recommend him. Rodolfo Lucchese