NJ GUARDIANSHIP ATTORNEY
Morgan Legal Group PC
Helping you make an informed decision
Becoming the guardian of someone is a momentous undertaking. In requesting a court to grant you guardianship of another person, you are essentially taking on full responsibility for their care in every aspect of their life as well as all the challenges that come with it. Their health care, finances, and properties are now under your custody. Though laws regarding guardianship do differ across states, New Jersey laws dictate that a guardianship is to be appointed by a court for a person who has been deemed mentally or physically incapacitated.
In the state of New Jersey, statute (N.J.S.3B:12-1 et seq) and court rules (Rule 4:86) govern decisions regarding an individual’s mental competence and the subsequent appointment of a guardianship for them. The appointment of a guardian is designed to provide the care that a person with mental or physical disabilities is unable to provide for themselves. However, if you are seeking to become a guardian, you must submit reasonable proof to the court, including two professional affidavits which conclude that an individual indeed requires a guardian to look after them and their affairs.
Designating someone as incapacitated
When a court determines that an individual is unable to make sound decisions regarding their own safety, health, living conditions, finances, or life as a whole, then that individual is deemed incapacitated. In a majority of these cases, a person who is determined to be incapacitated lacks the aptitude needed to make conscientious judgments in the aforementioned areas. The nature of their disability, whether mental or physical, may also impede their ability to convey their needs or wants. However, attaining a guardianship would provide them with a means of living out their lives in a way that is safe and bolstered by the support of a guardian.
The duties of a guardian
As mentioned earlier, a guardian is given complete trust and authority to oversee and manage the affairs of an incapacitated person. The overall well-being of a person who is disabled comprises the core of a guardian’s duty. Yet, within this generalized term, you’ll find that there are innumerable responsibilities that must be properly attended to. As a guardian, you must become a financial manager of sorts and make sure that rent, utilities, insurance, and taxes are all paid on time. Additionally, you will see that the household is adequately stocked with food and drinks, kitchenware, cleaning products, and other home essentials. You’ll also have to purchase attire and any personal care items that may be needed. Above all, as a guardian, you must ensure the safety and health of the person in your care at all times.
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Guardianship proceedings in New Jersey
In the state of New Jersey, the first step in the process of guardianship is to file a petition to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, which claims that an individual is mentally and/or physically unable to care for themselves or their affairs. After the initial filing, the court will proceed with an assessment of the petition and its contents which must include an affidavit of assets as well as an affidavit of two reputable physicians. If the court finds the petition warrants a hearing, they will move the case forward. It should be noted that all family members will be notified of the hearing and have the right to dispute or endorse the guardianship. The court gives its decision after an evaluation of the alleged incapacitated individual, as well as testimony hearings, and the submission of evidence.
Morgan Legal group PC
Guiding you through the guardianship process
At Morgan Legal Group PC, we have years of experience in handling guardianship cases and have some of New Jersey’s most prominent guardianship attorneys on our team. If you are considering filing for a guardianship, we can help you get started with drafting your petition. We’ll ensure that it includes all the necessary proof and documentation to confirm that appointing a guardian is in the best interest of the individual under discussion. Don’t be intimidated by the proceedings. Our guardianship attorneys have the knowledge and experience needed to secure the best outcome for you. We’ll stand behind you from start to finish.
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important things you should know
Questions And Answers
In general, a person who lacks the capacity to make sound decisions on their own with regards to their immediate safety, health, finances, or day to day lives is entitled to the care of a guardian. A mental or physical disability on its own does not warrant a guardianship. There must be proof that an individual is at risk for self-neglect, injury, abuse, or death without the protection of a guardian.
Upon their appointment, a guardian becomes almost like a parent to their charge. A guardian’s top priority is to ensure the immediate safety and health of the person under their care. However, their duties also include handling personal care, finances, house upkeep, and overall well-being just as a parent would handle these affairs for their children.
The time frame for guardianship proceedings can vary from state to state. In New Jersey, guardianship cases can be approved within one to four months, depending on which county court the petition was filed in. However, across the state of New Jersey, temporary guardianship can be appointed should an emergency arise.
For the most part, a guardianship is associated with the care of an incapacitated individual’s affairs such as health, personal care, social activities, and living arrangements. However, guardianship of the property is a more narrow appointment in which a guardian, as the name suggests, manages an individual’s finances, properties, as well as daily expenses. A guardian of the property is legally exempt from managing any non-financial matters with regards to an incapacitated person.