Smithtown probate attorneys help you if you have a manner that must go before the probate court. In New York, the official name for probate courts or courts that handle probate and estate issues is Surrogate’s Courts. When your loved one passes away and his or her assets must be transferred through the probate process, the surrogate court will preside over the probate proceedings. Likewise, if your loved one has become incapacitated without an incapacity plan in place, then you may need to go to court to have a guardian or conservator appointed for your relative.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC can help. Not only do our Smithtown probate attorneys provide representation to clients during probate proceedings in which assets of a deceased person are transferred to heirs or beneficiaries, but we also provide legal representation when guardianship proceedings become necessary. If your loved one has become incapacitated and is not able to care for himself or to care for herself, it is important that you have a guardian or conservator appointed as quickly as possible so the guardian can get the legal authority necessary to make decisions. You should reach out to Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC to get the process underway and to get the help you need to get the right guardian appointed to provide the necessary protections and support for the person you love.
Understanding Guardianship Proceedings
Guardianship proceedings are not necessary if someone has a plan for incapacity. If your loved one has taken steps, such as using a power of attorney to name an agent to act on his behalf and creating advanced directives to provide instructions for making healthcare decisions, then you will not ever need to go through guardianship proceedings even in the event of incapacity. Avoiding guardianship proceedings and taking control of your own destiny are a few key reasons why it is important to make an incapacity plan.
Unfortunately, many people do not plan ahead for what will happen if they become unable to make their own decisions or to act on their own behalf. In circumstances where there are no plans for what will happen in the event of incapacity, going to court to have a guardian or conservator appointed can become vital in the event of physical or mental incapacity. Having a guardian appointed could be necessary if your loved one suffers from a mental condition, such as dementia, which makes it impossible for him or her to make good decisions and express and carry out those decisions. The appointment of a guardian could also be necessary if a physical condition such as a serious stroke prevents your loved one from expressing a preference regarding his care or prevents your loved one from being able to manage his own assets.
When you seek to have a guardian or conservator appointed for an incapacitated person, you will need to petition the court. The first step will then involve the court conducting a hearing to determine if the person who you are seeking to have a guardian or conservator appointed for is, in fact, incapacitated. In some cases, it is obvious a person is actually incapacitated. In other circumstances, a capacity hearing could become contentious — for example, in circumstances where a person with a mental illness does not want to give up control over managing his or her own affairs.
If the court determines that your loved one is, in fact, incapacitated, then the court can name that person a ward. The court will then make a determination regarding who is in the best position to serve as the guardian or conservator. Just because you petitioned for a guardian or conservator to be appointed does not necessarily mean that you will be the person who the court appoints to serve as guardian. The court considers what is in the best interests of the incapacitated person when deciding who the guardian should be.
Getting Help from Smithtown Probate Attorneys
If you have a probate issue of any type, you need a compassionate and knowledgeable legal professional who can help you to handle the legal issue quickly, effectively, and with a minimum of stress during what is already a very stressful time in your life. Mark S. Eghrari & Associates, PLLC is here and ready to help. To learn more about all of the services our Smithtown probate attorneys can offer you, join us for a free seminar.
You can also give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online at any time to get personalized one-on-one help if your loved one is incapacitated or if your loved one has passed away. Call now to find out what we can do to help you as you navigate the probate court process.