Article 17-A Guardianship of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act: Revisiting the Conundrum in the Courts

By Arshi Pal, Esq., Littman Krooks LLP New York State sets 18 as the age of majority and individuals who are 18 years of age or older are deemed to be legally competent to make their own personal, medical and financial decisions. This becomes problematic for individuals with developmental disabilities who are unable to make such decisions or do not understand the consequences of their decisions. In such a scenario, initiating a Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Article 17-A guardianship proceeding may be helpful. Generally, a SCPA 17-A guardianship, a plenary guardianship and can be viewed as the most restrictive option, gives the guardian broad authority to make decisions regarding an individual’s health care and finances.  A petition for guardianship requires two physicians to attest to the developmental and/or intellectual disability and the individual’s inability to manage his or her affairs. The petitioner, who is the person seeking guardianship…

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