Personal Needs Management

A guardian of a person’s physical needs is appointed to make sure that an individual’s day-to-day living needs, education and health care needs are met in a way that satisfies the individual’s wishes and desires. While every guardian’s duties may be slightly different depending on the individual’s physical and mental inabilities, the overall purpose of the guardianship is to make sure that the individual feels comfortable, safe and secure.

These basic personal management needs may include the following:

  • Determining who the person is going to live with or where the person is going to reside
  • Decisions regarding type of food, following special diets and grocery shopping
  • Medical and dental care decisions
  • Education decisions
  • Transportation needs
  • Attendance at social events
  • Shopping for clothing or other personal incidentals
  • Keeping the person away from harm for a dangerous situation
  • Applying for social security, SSI, Medicare or other government assistance
  • Deciding whether the person is able to drive

Personal needs management duties may be granted by the court and set forth in the Guardianship Order issued by the court. The guardian is expected to act with diligence and care and is expected to be trustworthy and loyal.


So for example, let’s say your aunt lives alone and is having a hard time remembering to take her medication, needs help with bathing and getting dressed as well as preparing meals. After discussing with her the fact that you are concerned about her welfare, she agrees to allow you to become her guardian. She moves in your home, and you also hire someone to come in on a daily basis to help her with her personal hygiene, taking her medicines, dressing and driving her to doctor appointments and shopping. You have the peace of mind that your aunt is being taken care of, and she feels happy, safe and secure living in her new home with you and your family.

Who Can Be Appointed Guardian?

The following persons or entities can be appointed a guardian for personal needs management:

  • Any individual over eighteen years of age, or a parent under eighteen years of age, if the court deems the person suitable
  • Spouse
  • Adult Child
  • Sibling
  • Parent or other family member
  • Corporation or community guardian program

The following entity or persons may not serve as a guardian under New York law:

  • A creditor of the incapacitated person
  • An employer of a health care provider, residential service, day care or educational facility providing services to an incapacitated person
  • Mental hygiene legal service

New York Guardianship Lawyer

If you are involved with a guardianship for personal needs management or need to establish a guardianship, it is recommended that you speak with a New York probate and estate attorney for advice. The attorney can prepare the necessary petition and other legal documents to establish the guardianship. St. Pre Law Firm can represent the interests of an incapacitated person, the petitioner in a guardianship proceeding, a guardian, interested third party entity and other family members of the incapacitated person regarding guardianship proceedings. We can also assist with probate, probate litigation and estate tax matters. Call us today.