New York Consolidated Laws, Mental Hygiene Law § 81.02 Power to appoint a guardian of the person and/or property; standard for appointment
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(a) The court may appoint a guardian for a person if the court determines:
1. that the appointment is necessary to provide for the personal needs of that person, including food, clothing, shelter, health care, or safety and/or to manage the property and financial affairs of that person; and
2. that the person agrees to the appointment, or that the person is incapacitated as defined in subdivision (b) of this section. In deciding whether the appointment is necessary, the court shall consider the report of the court evaluator, as required in paragraph five of subdivision (c) of section 81.09 of this article, and the sufficiency and reliability of available resources, as defined in subdivision (e) of section 81.03 of this article, to provide for personal needs or property management without the appointment of a guardian. Any guardian appointed under this article shall be granted only those powers which are necessary to provide for personal needs and/or property management of the incapacitated person in such a manner as appropriate to the individual and which shall constitute the least restrictive form of intervention, as defined in subdivision (d) of section 81.03 of this article.
(b) The determination of incapacity shall be based on clear and convincing evidence and shall consist of a determination that a person is likely to suffer harm because:
1. the person is unable to provide for personal needs and/or property management; and
2. the person cannot adequately understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of such inability.
(c) In reaching its determination, the court shall give primary consideration to the functional level and functional limitations of the person. Such consideration shall include an assessment of that person's:
1. management of the activities of daily living, as defined in subdivision (h) of section 81.03 of this article;
2. understanding and appreciation of the nature and consequences of any inability to manage the activities of daily living;
3. preferences, wishes, and values with regard to managing the activities of daily living; and
4. the nature and extent of the person's property and financial affairs and his or her ability to manage them.
It shall also include an assessment of (i) the extent of the demands placed on the person by that person's personal needs and by the nature and extent of that person's property and financial affairs; (ii) any physical illness and the prognosis of such illness; (iii) any mental disability, as that term is defined in section 1.03 of this chapter, alcoholism or substance dependence as those terms are defined in section 19.03 of this chapter, and the prognosis of such disability, alcoholism or substance dependence; and (iv) any medications with which the person is being treated and their effect on the person's behavior, cognition and judgment.
(d) In addition, the court shall consider all other relevant facts and circumstances regarding the person's:
1. functional level; and
2. understanding and appreciation of the nature and consequences of his or her functional limitations.
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