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.

In New Jersey, the only way a guardianship can be established is if the person in need of a guardian is incapacitated. New Jersey recognizes two types of guardians: guardian of the property, who makes financial decisions on behalf of their charge. and guardian of the person, who makes care planning decisions on behalf of their charge. Either two different people or a single individual can take on these roles. Limited guardianship may also be a possibility if a person has the capacity to make appropriate care decisions on their own behalf, but is unable to handle making financial decisions without help.

If a guardianship is entered into too hastily, the process can become more challenging, as well as pit family members against other family members. This is a situation most people want to avoid.

Establishing a guardian is a legal process that can be complicated, involving three attorneys: one appointed by the court to represent the individual in need of a guardian; one for the individual pursuing guardianship; and a personal one for the individual in need of a guardian. It is important that those seeking guardianship understand what their loved one’s options are to determine if guardianship is the right choice. Our law firm’s webpage on guardianship may help readers learn more about how we approach guardianship cases.