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.
The state of New Jersey recognizes two kinds of guardianship: one over the person and one over property. Guardianship of a person means handling the person’s care and medical needs. Guardianship of the property means handling the person’s financial affairs. Sometimes, one person is assigned to fulfill both of these roles, but, other times, two people will be assigned — one over the person the other over the property.
In addition, in a guardianship proceeding in New Jersey, it is necessary to engage the services of three attorneys. The court will appoint one attorney for the individual who is allegedly incapacitated. The person seeking guardianship over another individual will also need an attorney. Finally, in addition to the court-appointed one, the allegedly incapacitated individual will also need a personal attorney.
At our law firm, we believe that guardianship is a last resort, but sometimes it is necessary when no other options are available. Our firm practices elder law, dealing with issues such as guardianship, long-term care planning and asset preservation, among others. Those who have questions about guardianship in New Jersey are invited to view our webpage on the topic.