The field of elder law is defined as the specialized field of law that addresses the diverse legal needs of aging populations. It focuses on the legal issues affecting baby boomers and their elderly parents. In many circumstances, even clients with proper estate planning will experience potential litigation related to their estates, their legal capacity or both. Meltzer Lippe’s Mental Health, Guardianship & Elder Law Litigation Practice Group is a team of attorneys uniquely qualified to address these legal matters.
Legal issues affecting seniors are governed by complex statutes and laws that vary by state. They’re also multifaceted, often requiring a unique understanding of the personal impacts of aging, which can make a person more physically, financially, and socially vulnerable. Elder law addresses the various life decisions and circumstances that arise during this time of life as well as how estate plans will be executed after your death. Read on to learn more about specific areas where Elder Law litigation can arise.
Mental Health Law
At Meltzer Lippe we have substantial experience in the handling of cases initiated pursuant to the Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) of the New York State. Our experience makes us uniquely aware of the complex and difficult circumstances that surround the matter of mental health and the law. We can offer legal assistance with petitions related to Mental Hygiene Law Article 9, including retention hearings or Assisted Outpatient Treatment (known as AOT) or MHL Article 81, as mentioned above. These matters are under the jurisdiction of the New York State Supreme Court, where our experienced litigators are regular participants in MHL proceedings.
Our firm can also assist clients with understanding the entirety of the proceeding including the petition process, court hearing and final determination.
Generally, a Guardianship proceeding is necessary when an incapacitated or disabled adult cannot care for him or herself or make decisions about health or finances. Without proper estate planning, a vulnerable individual would have no mechanism of being cared for and a court proceeding may be necessary to establish the necessity for a guardianship.
The experienced attorneys at Meltzer Lippe are well versed in all areas of Guardianship & Elder Law litigation. Most commonly, Guardianship & Elder Law litigation refers to Adult Guardianship Proceedings pursuant to Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law. Adult guardianship proceedings can be exceptionally complex, challenging cases and the expert guardianship litigators at Meltzer Lippe are experienced in all areas of this specialized practice, representing clients from all over New York State. Regularly appointed by judges throughout the State, the litigators at Meltzer Lippe are trusted advisors with a demonstrated record of success in all types of contested Guardianship matters.
Contested Power of Attorney Litigation
A Power of Attorney is a document that grants legal authority to another party (agent). By executing a power of attorney, an individual can give the agent the authority to make legal decisions on his/her behalf. These decisions can involve financial and property matters. This includes authority over real estate transactions. The execution of a power of attorney, while often essential and useful, can carry risks. A power of attorney in the wrong hands can be abused through self-dealing, conflicts of interest and other mishandling of funds.
The General Obligations Law in New York governs the use of the Power of Attorney and establishes very clear rules which govern the proper conduct of the agent under such document. If you suspect that there has been an abuse of a power of attorney, it is vital that your matter is addressed by a skilled litigator from Meltzer Lippe. We have extensive experience in litigating power of attorney cases throughout the state.
As the financial security of the individual can be seriously compromised when the power of attorney is misused, it is critical that legal action is undertaken immediately if there is any wrongdoing or illegal activity taking place. Working with the experienced team at Meltzer Lippe is essential to achieving a successful outcome and we can assist with challenges related to irregularity during the execution of the power of attorney, undue influence, incompetence and the misuse of authority granted in the power of attorney.