Monday, March 20, 2017


This is from today's email from Nassau Suffolk Law Services and demonstrates one of the circumstances this document can be helpful:

"In another case, just a week before passing, the mother of a young child was able to draft a designation of standby guardian pursuant to SCPA 1726, with the help of the PLAN unit. Designating her mother as the standby guardian, the client, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, secured peace of mind that her daughter would be cared for as her condition worsened.

The designation of standby guardian under section 4 of SCPA 1726 allows a parent or legal guardian to put into place a standby guardian should they become incapacitated or pass away. This simple document only requires the parent or legal guardian, proposed standby guardian, and two witnesses to be present for its signing.  It allows the standby guardianship to take effect under three circumstances: 1) a treating doctor concludes in writing that the drafter has become mentally incapacitated and cannot care for their children, 2) a treating doctor concludes in writing that the drafter has become physically incapacitated and the drafter consents in writing themselves, or 3) upon the drafter's death.

Once the standby guardianship becomes active due to one of the above circumstances, the standby guardian has 60 days to file an official petition for guardianship through the local Surrogate's Court.

In cases where a parent or legal guardian's health is rapidly deteriorating and time is an issue, drafting a designation of standby guardianship pursuant to section 4 of SCA 1726 can be a vital tool in fulfilling a client's wishes regarding who will look after their children."

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