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Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents Since 1978.

guardianships and conservatorships Archives

A power of attorney may be preferable to a court-ordered guardian

Throughout our lifetimes, we will make many important financial decisions. From the first time we open a bank account as a teenager, to funding a retirement plan as a working adult, to making simple decisions about how to spend our hard-earned money, most people in New Jersey might take for granted the fact that they are in charge of their finances and can do with them what they think is important.

What are the duties of a court appointed guardian?

In New Jersey, there are steps a person must take before they can legally qualify as guardian of a person's estate. Once they qualify as guardian of the estate, there are certain things they must do. This post will provide a brief overview of this topic. However, it cannot be relied upon as legal advice, so those who want more information on guardianship of the estate will want to consult with an attorney.

Seeking help when guardianship is the only option

Sometimes, if a person in East Hanover is suffering from dementia, Alzheimer's disease or has some other mental condition that renders them incapacitated, the only alternative available to them is guardianship. In fact, in New Jersey they only grounds upon which an individual can pursue guardianship over another individual is if that other individual is incapacitated. This is different than incompetency.

It is sometimes necessary to appoint a guardian to a child

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian over a child in New Jersey. This person has the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the child, as long as the child is included in the decision-making process to the extent that they can be. A guardian is also responsible for making sure the child's needs are met and that the child's rights are not violated.

What should one know before pursuing a guardianship?

When a person in New Jersey reaches age 18, they will be considered to have reached the age of majority. This is true even if the person has a developmental disability. Once they are 18, their parents are no longer allowed to make decisions for them, even if the person is disabled or still resides with their parents. However, sometimes a person does not have the capability to make their own life choices. When this happens, parents might want to consider appointing a legal guardian for their child.

Families in New Jersey have options when it comes to guardianship

Sometimes, when a person in New Jersey can no longer handle their own affairs due to mental or physical incapacitation, it is necessary to have someone else manage their affairs for them. Guardianships may be an option, but they should be seen as a last resort, since once a guardianship is established, the incapacitated person loses their basic right to make decisions for themselves. Therefore, it is important for families in New Jersey to understand their options when it comes to guardianship.

Seeking help when guardianship is the only option

When a person in New Jersey suffers from dementia, Alzheimer's or some other mental condition that renders them incapacitated, sometimes the only option is to assign a legal guardian over that person. This is not something that should be rushed into, however. It is only an option if the allegedly incapacitated person is mentally unable to designate a power of attorney, or if they had a power of attorney but revoked it.

What types of guardianship of the person are there in New Jersey?

Sometimes a child in New Jersey is born with a developmental disability that will make it impossible for them to ever care for themselves independently. The parents of these children love their child, but it is likely that their child will outlive them. That being said, even disabled individuals, at age 18, have reached the age of legal majority, in which their parents cannot make legal decisions for them. In these cases, however, parents may choose to name a person or agency as a guardian of the child, to make decisions on the child's behalf.

How you can protect vulnerable loved ones through an estate plan

The primary goal of estate planning is to ensure that your loved ones are cared for after you pass away. This is especially important if those you care for have special needs, and you (or a spouse or sibling) are the primary caretaker. These loved ones could be young children or even adults with physical or mental disabilities.

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