New York Consolidated Laws, Mental Hygiene Law - MHY § 81.01 Legislative findings and purpose

The legislature hereby finds that the needs of persons with incapacities are as diverse and complex as they are unique to the individual.  The current system of conservatorship and committee does not provide the necessary flexibility to meet these needs.  Conservatorship which traditionally compromises a person's rights only with respect to property frequently is insufficient to provide necessary relief.  On the other hand, a committee, with its judicial finding of incompetence and the accompanying stigma and loss of civil rights, traditionally involves a deprivation that is often excessive and unnecessary.  Moreover, certain persons require some form of assistance in meeting their personal and property management needs but do not require either of these drastic remedies.  The legislature finds that it is desirable for and beneficial to persons with incapacities to make available to them the least restrictive form of intervention which assists them in meeting their needs but, at the same time, permits them to exercise the independence and self-determination of which they are capable.  The legislature declares that it is the purpose of this act to promote the public welfare by establishing a guardianship system which is appropriate to satisfy either personal or property management needs of an incapacitated person in a manner tailored to the individual needs of that person, which takes in account the personal wishes, preferences and desires of the person, and which affords the person the greatest amount of independence and self-determination and participation in all the decisions affecting such person's life.

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