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What are the duties of a court appointed guardian?

| Mar 23, 2018 | Firm News |

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.

Once a person qualifies as guardian of the estate they will have to establish a separate guardianship bank account. Once that happens, they will have to secure a tax identification number for that account. Any assets and accounts currently existing will have to be retitled in the name of the guardianship estate. Guardians of the estate must keep records of any guardianship account transactions. A guardian of the estate will have to perform an investigation and make an inventory of the incapacitated individual’s property and debts. If required by the judgment, the initial inventory must be filed with the court and shared with interested parties. A guardian of the estate must also keep any original documents in a safe and secure location. They may have to file reports periodically regarding the protected person’s estate.

When the guardian of the estate is making decisions regarding the protected person, they must discuss the matter with the protected person and take the protected person’s opinion into consideration. However, if the protected person’s preferences are unknown or could harm them, the guardian of the estate must make a decision on the basis of what they think is in the protected person’s best interests. They must keep on paying premiums in order to maintain a surety bond if required. If the guardian of the estate moves to a different address, even if it is the address of the incapacitated person, the surrogate must be informed. Finally, the surrogate must be informed if the incapacitated person dies.

As this shows, a guardian of the estate has many important duties. Because it is important that they fulfill all the legal requirements of this role, those who have questions about what they must do as guardian of the estate should take the necessary steps to obtain the information they need.

Source: New Jersey Courts, “Guardianship of the Estate: Duties & Responsibilities,” accessed March 23, 2018

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