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A recent case has voiced some concerns over the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, Article 17-A proceedings, but these specialized proceedings remain an important tool to ensure long-term guardianship of a person with a static and unchanging condition. Matter of Chaim A.K., NYLJ, Aug. 26, 2009, p. 41, col. 1 (Sur. Ct. New York Co.), highlighted that the court must narrowly construe SCPA Article 17-A proceedings and only allow these guardianships to be created where an individual qualifies under the statute. The Surrogate must be the ultimate gatekeeper in assuring that the very specific and defined circumstances of this proceeding are at issue, and dismissing proceedings where the criteria are not met or are better handled in a tailored Article 81 proceeding or other less restrictive method.

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