Understanding the New Jersey Guardianship Process
Our lawyers view guardianship as a last resort, when no other alternative, due to Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s or other mental deficiencies, is available. Rushing someone into guardianship without their cooperation can make the process very difficult and complex as well as pit child against parent and sibling against sibling. You can avoid the need for guardianship with a properly drafted durable power of attorney document while competent.
For more than 15 years, Patel Law Offices has provided help and guidance to clients who serve or need caretakers or guardians for a spouse or family member.
A Time-Consuming and Expensive Process
The process of obtaining a guardianship can take months. Guardianship is the only alternative if the alleged incapacitated person does not have the legal capacity to designate a power of attorney or if the alleged incapacitated person revoked a prior power of attorney. While a person who has a power of attorney is answerable to the person who gave it to him or her, a guardian is answerable to the court. Thus, the alleged incapacitated person loses control over their care choices and finances.
Guardianship and Conservatorship
There are two duties of guardians: Guardian of the person and guardian of the property. The guardian of the person handles all care planning and other non‑financial decisions. The guardian of the property handles financial matters. While one person usually serves as both, different people for each role may be appointed.
In some states the term conservator and guardian are the same, in New Jersey, if a person is not incapacitated, they can voluntarily choose to have a conservator handle financial affairs.
Patel Law Offices is 1 of only 325 attorneys nationwide who are certified in elder law (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation.
Free Lawyer Consultation
For a free initial consultation with one of our CELA partners, call our office or fill out the contact form on this Web site.