ELDER LAW AND GUARDIANSHIP
Attorneys who practice in the Elder Law and Guardianship area help their clients and their families navigate the challenges unique to seniors as they age. The attorneys at the Bartol Law Firm, P.C. help seniors in New York with planning for long-term care, determining eligibility for government benefits, ensure legal documents such as wills, trusts, and advanced directives are in place. We also help family members when guardianship proceedings are needed to ensure the health and safety of a loved one who has lost capacity.
Our elder law-specific estate planning focuses on aiding seniors in implementing estate plans with a particular focus on long-term care, incapacity, and wealth transfer at death. We want all our clients to have a clear plan of action that can protect them in case of incapacity and afford them the greatest amount of independence in their lives.
In this area of the law, we develop these plans by recommending where appropriate, the establishment and the use of planning documents such as Durable Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Health care Proxies, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts, Long Term Care Insurance, and many of the other documents that are set forth in our Estate Planning section.
On the litigation side, firm attorneys have been engaged in all types of proceedings in the Surrogate’s and Supreme Courts located in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and upstate Counties, including contested appointment proceedings, contested accounting proceedings, discovery proceedings, contested Guardianship proceedings representing litigants and as Court Evaluator, etc. and as attorneys for the alleged incapacitated person.
In addition, at varying times, the attorneys have served as attorney for petitioners; attorney for respondents; Guardian ad Litem; Court Evaluator; Committee for Incompetent Persons; Conservator of Property; Guardian of Person and Property; Attorney for Committees, Conservators and Guardians; and in numerous contested and uncontested proceedings in both the New York State Supreme Court and the New York State Surrogate’s Court for (i) Appointment of Committees of Incompetent Persons pursuant to the now repealed Article 78 of the Mental Hygiene Law (“MHL”); (ii) Appointment of Conservators of Property of Incapacitated Persons pursuant to the now repealed Article 77 of the MHL; (iii) Appointment of Guardians of the Person and Property of Incapacitated Persons pursuant to Article 81 of the MHL; (iv) Appointment of Guardians of the Person and Property of Infants pursuant to Article 17 of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (“SCPA”); (v) Appointment of Guardians of the Person and Property of Mentally Retarded Persons and Developmentally Disabled Persons pursuant to Article 17A of the SCPA; (vi) Annual Accounting Proceedings of Committees, Conservators and Guardians; (vii) Interim and Final Accounting Proceedings of Committees, Conservators and Guardians; (viii) Proceedings to Discover and Recover property of Incapacitated Persons wrongfully taken by, wrongfully transferred to and/or wrongfully withheld by third persons; and (ix) Proceedings to permit and establish Supplemental Needs Trusts and other estate planning and Medicaid planning transactions.
Sometimes seniors face guardianship proceedings, either started by a family member, nursing home, or government agency such as the department of social services. These proceedings are brought under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law when a petitioner alleges that the senior (alleged incapacitated person) is likely to suffer personal and/or financial harm because they cannot care for themselves or their financial affairs. We counsel family members about the serious civil liberties that are at stake in a guardianship proceeding and how the procedure moves quickly. We will advise and represent individuals at the hearing which must be brought within twenty-eight (28) days. At the hearing, the petitioner must present evidence that the AIP is incapacitated and would suffer harm if a guardian is not appointed. The Bartol Law Firm, P.C. attorneys, Ernest T. Bartol & Diane K. Mendez know how Guardianship proceedings work from every angle.