Guardianship Case

In New York State, a guardianship case is handled by the Family Court, Supreme Court or Surrogate's Court depending on the type of guardianship asked for and the ward (the person over whom guardianship is requested).

The Ward is... and... then...
17 years old or younger inherited over $10,000 Article 17 Guardianship in Surrogate's Court
the child's parents are not able to care for the child Article 17 Guardianship in Surrogate's Court if the child's parents died or there is property, OR
Petition for Guardianship in Family Court if there is no property
18 years old or older has intellectual or developmental disabilities Article 17-A Guardianship in Surrogate's Court
becomes incapacitated Article 81 Guardianship in Supreme Court


Guardianship Petition

A guardianship case is started with a petition. Any person 18 years of age or over can petition the court to become a guardian. Usually it is child's parents, another adult, or a social services agency who files the petition in court. The petition for guardianship is a written request asking that the court "appoint" a guardian for someone. You may be able to file the papers over the internet using NYSCEF, the New York State Courts Electronic Filing system. Check to see if you can do this on the e-filing County List.

There is always a hearing. During the hearing, evidence is presented to the Judge showing why the petitioner think a person needs a guardian.

The Judge officially appoints a guardian by issuing "letters of guardianship" that specifically says what the guardian can do.

YouTube DIY Forms Ask a Law Librarian Court User Survey