The Guardianship Prevention and Support Helpline provides free information and referrals to anyone with questions related to Article 81 guardianship in New York. We accept calls from both professionals and anyone from the public.
Note: We do not provide direct legal representation or advice and cannot write court papers.
We are taking live calls from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday (closed all federal holidays). If we are unable to answer, please leave a voicemail. You can reach us by e-mail or the web form below, and may leave a voicemail at any time. We will do our best to respond within 2 business days, but may take longer due to high volume.
For services in languages other than English: Please reach out by email or web form. In your message, let us know if you would like to communicate in writing or using a phone-based interpreter.
Para servicios en idiomas distintos del inglés: Póngase en contacto con nosotros por correo electrónico o formulario web. En su mensaje, indíquenos si desea comunicarse por escrito o mediante un intérprete telefónico.
What can we do for you?
We know that navigating Article 81 guardianship is complex. We are here to help with:
- General information about guardianship
- Explaining the court process
- Understanding court papers
- Problems with a guardian
- Brainstorming resources to care for a loved one
- Alternatives to guardianship, including: social services options, powers of attorney, money management, and more
- Referrals to other organizations for more assistance
Have you considered other options?
It is important to understand that guardianship is a serious legal tool that can interfere with a person’s independence. We are committed to supporting individuals and families in treating guardianship as the last option.
Article 81 Guardianship:
- Guardianship is a legal arrangement where a person or agency makes personal and/or financial decisions for an individual. A person may need a guardian if they are at risk of harm because they can't provide for their needs and don't recognize that they need help.
- Guardianship is a tool of last resort and, in New York, a guardian’s powers are limited to meet the individual's needs. Powers can be added or removed as needed. If the guardianship is no longer necessary, you can ask the court for the guardianship to end.
- Only a judge can appoint a guardian. This requires filing papers and a hearing in court.