Every person is considered a competent adult when they turn 18 unless a Court determines otherwise, whether or not a person has a disability.
If a person with special needs cannot properly manage his or her personal, financial, or legal affairs, then a parent, family member or friend may apply to the Surrogate's Court to become his or her legal guardian pursuant to Article 17A of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act or to the Supreme Court under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, whichever is appropriate for the person in need of a guardian. A guardian ensures that the rights, interests, and desires of the person with disabilities are met and protected. A guardian is a decision-maker who takes into account the needs and desires of the individual with disabilities and insures that the individual participates in the decision-making where possible. Our office works with you to prepare and file the guardianship application in the appropriate court and will represent you at the guardianship hearing.