In accordance with Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, the court may appoint a guardian for a person if the court determines that (1) the appointment is necessary to provide for the personal needs or to manage the property and financial affairs of the person, or both and (2) that the person agrees to the appointment or that the person is incapacitated. A determination of incapacity requires clear and convincing evidence that a person is likely to suffer harm because (1) the person is unable to provide for personal needs or unable to manage property and financial affairs, and 2) the person cannot adequately understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of such inability.
Watching a parent or a loved one deteriorate with old age can be very difficult and as much as one wants to help, sometimes our hands are tied without the proper legal authority. Article 81 proceedings are there to allow an adult child or anyone with proper authority to legally care for the finances or well-being or both of an elderly person who can no longer manage his or her day to day affairs.
It is important to consider the pros and cons of initiating an Article 81 proceeding and whether that is the best remedy for an elderly or disabled individual.