Guardianship Practice Group
Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law represents a major change in the law of surrogate decision making in New York. The guiding principle is the "least restrictive" form of intervention... further, the system is to be "tailored to the individual needs of that person ...which affords the person the greatest amount of independence and self-determination and participation in all the decisions affecting such person's life" - Hon. Eugene E. Peckham, Matter of John D., 25 Misc. 3d 940 (Cortland Co. 2009)

Our experienced guardianship attorneys petition courts on behalf of family members and other concerned individuals, hospitals, nursing homes, and financial institutions. We are involved in both consensual and contested guardianships of person and property, self-petitions, turnover proceedings and accountings. We also regularly petition in Surrogate's Court proceedings under Article 17-A for guardianships of persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities, and we assist guardians with creation and administration of Supplemental Needs Trusts.

We have obtained orders:

Setting aside transfers of real property
Granting injunctions to protect elderly incapacitated persons
Restraining transfer of assets prior to a hearing
Appointing temporary guardians prior to a hearing

Our attorneys are recognized leaders in guardianship practice, serving on the New York State Office of Court Administration Guardianship Advisory Committee, lecturing and authoring numerous journal articles, contributing as authors for the leading treatise: Abrams, Guardianship Practice in New State., and serving on the planning committee for training and certification programs of both County and State Bar Associations.

We are certified for judicial appointment in Article 81 proceedings in Broome, Tompkins, Tioga, Chenango, Chemung, Cortland, and Delaware Counties, and we accept appointments in special cases in other counties. We have appeared in guardianship proceedings throughout New York and in Pennsylvania.

With the aid of trained and experienced paralegals and elder services coordinator we also provide on-going support for guardians once appointed. We assist in commissioning, bonding, training, marshaling of assets, initial and annual reporting, and ancillary proceedings for turnover, sale or protection of assets, accounting and discharge, and coordination of personal care services.

For information about Levene Gouldin & Thompson's Guardianship Services contact:
Maria Motsavage, Elder Care Coordinator- or
Linda Spaulding-


  • Margaret J. Fowler
  • Amanda L. Giannone
  • Cynthia Ann K. Manchester
  • Michelle C. McCabe-Szczepanski
  • Karen J. McMullen
  • Lauren Kiley Saleeby
  • Kathryn Grant Madigan

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