Macri Law Group
Menu Contact
Certified Elder Law Attorneys Serving New Jersey Residents Since 1978.

Posts tagged "Guardianships And Conservatorships"

What duties are there regarding guardianship of the estate?

New Jersey courts generally want people to have as much autonomy as possible when it comes to making health care decisions and handling their financial affairs. However, sometimes a person becomes mentally or physically incapacitated to the point that they can no longer make these decisions on their own. Some people, before becoming incapacitated, execute a medical and financial power of attorney, which names the person who is to make these decisions on their behalf. However, in the absence of such documents, the court must assign a guardian to handle the incapacitated person's affairs. Today, we will focus on guardianship of the estate, in which a guardian handles an incapacitated person's financial affairs.

Help is available when guardianship is the only option

It can be difficult to see a loved one's mental or physical capabilities decline over time. Unfortunately, sometimes the situation becomes so serious that a guardian must be appointed. A guardian becomes necessary when the person is incapable of taking care of their own affairs and they didn't designate a power of attorney before they became incapacitated. This is a situation that must be treated delicately and with respect for the incapacitated individual.

Guardianship of an estate is not necessary in every situation

Parents of adult children with a disability or adult children of an elderly parent may be concerned that their loved one is unable to handle their personal and financial affairs on their own. If a person is incapacitated, guardianship may be sought if no other alternative exists. New Jersey law recognizes two types of guardianship: guardian of the person and guardian of the estate. While the guardian of the person is responsible for care planning for the incapacitated person, the guardian of the estate is responsible for their financial affairs. Since guardianship in New Jersey is viewed as a last resort, it is important to understand when guardianship is not needed.

Points to consider when making guardianship decisions

Sometimes, as a last resort, a person in New Jersey may have to have a guardian appointed to an adult child who is incapacitated or has special needs. It is essential that, when choosing a guardian, a person does not rush into making a guardianship decision. The following are some points a person might want to consider when selecting a guardian for their special needs child.

Choosing the least-restrictive alternative in guardianship

When a person is appointed as a guardian over another person, making medical decisions on behalf of that individual can be difficult. After all, while guardianship in New Jersey is seen as a last resort, guardians still have the duty to make decisions the incapacitated individual would have wanted for themselves. Therefore, there are principles New Jersey guardians should abide by. One of these principles is choosing the least restrictive alternative when it comes to medical care.

What standard should New Jersey guardians use to make decisions?

Being appointed as a guardian over a person should be seen as a last resort, but sometimes if a person is incapacitated, it is necessary. New Jersey recognizes two types of guardianship. One is guardian of the property. This individual takes care of the incapacitated person's financial affairs. The other is the guardian of the person. This individual takes care of the incapacitated person's care planning and non-financial affairs.

Where to turn when guardianship is a last resort

Sometimes, a person in New Jersey suffers from a mental deficiency, such as Alzheimer's or dementia. As a result, they are not capable of making appropriate decisions on their own behalf. When this happens, a legal guardian may need to be assigned for that person.

We assist with guardianship and power of attorney matters

It can be distressing to see an aging loved one become mentally unable to make decisions on their own behalf. A person may have a mental disorder like dementia or may be physically incapacitated, such as a person in a coma may be, that makes them unable to handle their affairs. People in New Jersey who have a loved one in such a situation may be concerned about who will make care and financial decisions on behalf of their incapacitated loved one.

What are the responsibilities of a court appointed guardian?

In New Jersey, a guardian of the person is an individual appointed by the court to make decisions and act on behalf of a person who cannot make decisions independently. A guardian of the person has certain responsibilities over the protected person.

When does the court appoint a guardian?

Sometimes, as a person ages, his or her mental or physical abilities deteriorate to the point that he or she becomes partially or totally incapacitated. Special needs children may also be incapacitated as adults. When this happens, a court appointed guardian may need to be selected to take care of the incapacitated person's affairs. However, state law defines what duties a guardian can fulfill.

Macri Law Group
49 Ridgedale Avenue
Suite 1
East Hanover, NJ 07936

Phone: 973-577-6010
Phone: 973-577-6010
Fax: 973-887-6237
Map & Directions