Guardianship Unit

CELJ’s Guardianship Unit serves as Court-Appointed guardian for persons who have been determined to be incapacitated by the court and require assistance to meet their needs.  Many of these people are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.   As guardian, CELJ attorneys, paralegals, accountants and social workers provide a wide range of services, depending on whether we are appointed as guardian of the person, property or both. Our duties include regular visits, support and management of all affairs, including health care, finances and legal needs.  This program serves as guardian for people only when we have been appointed by the court. We do not accept individual requests to serve as guardian.
The Guardianship Unit also has attorneys who serve as court evaluator when asked to do so by the court. We will provide legal representation to people who are contesting a guardianship proceeding; however, we do not assist people who are seeking to become guardian over another individual. Our Guardian Department is not supported by governmental funding and therefore, our ability to take cases is dependent upon the fees that we charge to the disabled individuals who utilize these services.  We only handle appointments from the court for individuals age sixty and older, residing in Erie County and we do not petition for guardianship.  Family members who wish to petition for guardianship for a loved one whom they fear is in danger, should call the Erie County Department of  Protective Services for Adults (858- 6877).  Alternatively, they can call a private attorney.

Compassionate Care

Comprehensive Services

Experienced Advocates

Preserving Independence


Most of the people we serve are in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.  However, upon being appointed guardian, we do an assessment to determine whether the person is able to live in the community. It is our goal to ensure that the people we serve are in the appropriate placement, depending on their needs, desires, and functional abilities.

I want to become guardian of my parent- will you help me do that?

No. Our office does not help people become guardian of other individuals. We only serve as guardian when appointed by the court or represent people in defense of a guardianship proceeding. You can contact an attorney from the private bar to assist you with determining your options.

I do not think that I need a guardian. Will you help me contest a guardianship appointment?

Yes, our office provides representation for persons who are the subject of a Guardianship proceeding.  You can contact our general intake line at 716-853-3087 so that we may intake your case.

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