Guardianship and Conservatorship

A Guardianship is the legal process used to enable someone to make decisions on behalf of someone who is incapable of making their own. The person appointed to make those decisions is known as a guardian and the person for whom those decisions are being made is known as a ward.  Under New Jersey law a Court will appoint a guardian when it finds that a person“who is impaired by reason of mental illness or mental deficiency...lacks sufficient capacity to govern himself and manage his affairs.”

Guardianships are most often established for young adults with disabilities and elderly individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other mentally disabling condition.  A guardian may make all decisions for an incapacitated person or may have limited decision making power if the Court determines that the incapacitated person can still safely exercise some decision making.  Guardianships can be utilized for the care of a person or property, or both.

Once appointed, a guardian must be diligent in exercising the rights and responsibilities that New Jersey law requires for a guardian; these may include obtaining a surety bond, file annual accountings and obtaining Court approval prior to selling the ward's real estate.

The Law Offices of Gary Cornick, LLC, has a great deal of experience in representing individuals seeking to be appointed as guardian.  Moreover, we often assist individuals after they have been appointed guardian in order to ensure that they are in compliance with New Jersey law.

Additionally, we are often appointed by the Superior Court of New Jersey to represent the rights of alleged incapacitated persons during the guardianship legal process.

A Conservatorship differs from a guardianship in that an individual is appointed by the Court to assist an individual who, while maintaining decision making capacity, requires assistance with their financial affairs.  While this authority is more often obtained through the use of a Power of Attorney, at times both parties feel more comfortable knowing that the relationship is being monitored by the Court.  This Court monitoring does not exist when a Power of Attorney is used.

Whether you are interested in pursuing a guardianship or have questions regarding an existing guardianship, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your rights and responsibilities.

Do you have questions or do you want to make an appointment in this area?

Call us at 908.253.0404 or use our contact form.

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