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ADVANCE PLANNING

We help to protect individual rights and maximize independence.

NYLAG’s Advance Planning practice helps New Yorkers with limited means plan for all stages of life. We help clients with existing disabilities choose people they trust to help them meet their needs in the least restrictive manner possible. We also assist with estate planning so that our clients can safeguard their property and remain independent in the event that they become incapacitated. 

For assistance with life planning, guardianships, or estates, please call 212.613.6514 and leave a voicemail with your name and phone number, or send an email to lifeplanning@nylag.org.

Our breadth of knowledge and services are unique, critical, and atypical in the not-for-profit sector. We assist in four main areas: 

For our clients, planning ahead is crucial to ensure that someone may act in their stead to maintain access to essential benefits, obtain medical care in light of their wishes, and potentially fend off predators of the elderly.

Our Advance Planning team prepares last wills and testaments and advance planning documents including powers of attorney, health care proxies, and living wills for New Yorkers over the age of 18. Advance planning documents allow clients to make their wishes known, remain independent as long as possible, and avoid guardianship should they become incapacitated. Last wills and testaments enable clients to preserve assets, clarify their wishes, and reduce family discord upon their death.

Families are often told that the only way they can help a relative with a disability is through guardianship, a court procedure to remove the decision-making rights of a person with a disability. However, guardianship is not the only answer. We provide representation, advocacy, and advice to people with disabilities so that they can maximize their independence and preserve their legal rights. Whenever possible, we help people with disabilities prepare guardianship alternatives including powers of attorney and health care proxies so that they can choose what kind of help they receive and from whom. In appropriate cases where guardianship alternatives are not possible, we also represent families in guardianship proceedings so that they can help their loved ones receive the assistance they need. 

The Advance Planning team provides advice and assistance to New Yorkers with limited means regarding distribution of property when a loved one has died. We advise people on probate and administration proceedings, assist with completion of Surrogate’s Court forms, and prepare affidavits so that relatives can collect assets without going to court. However, we do not represent clients in Surrogate’s Court.

Our team works to prevent elder abuse and promote elder rights through the preparation and revocation of advance planning documents. We also provide advice and assistance to seniors and their families so that they can redress grievances with nursing homes, care providers, and hospitals

“Thank you so much for your help in presiding over my will signing. Your patience with explaining everything and answering my questions is greatly appreciated. I am so grateful for NYLAG being able to provide such a wonderful service”

- Former client

Services

Our Advance Planning program helps clients make critical plans for the future. We offer the following legal services:

  • Advice, counsel and execution of medical advance directives, last wills and testaments, powers of attorney, and appointments of agent to control disposition of remains
  • Guidance with probate and administration proceedings as well as guidance for non-probate assets
  • Vetting for the need of an article 81 guardianship proceeding and implementation of alternative solutions to support a family member who has lost capacity
  • Vetting for the need of an article 17-A guardianship proceeding and assistance to obtain guardianship over a developmentally disabled individual
  • Education of the general public as well as medical and social services professionals

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