Guardianship Proceedings In New Jersey

guardianship lawyer New Jersey
New Jersey offers multiple forms of guardianship for adults that have limited or total incapacity, most commonly:

  • New Jersey Statutes §3B:12-24.1(a); and
  • New Jersey Statutes §3B:12-24.1(b).

While both of these involve petitioning a court to appoint a guardian to care for the person and/or property of another, there are some differences in the scope of the guardian’s duties and responsibilities.

New Jersey Statutes §3B:12-24.1(a): General Guardian

  • A general guardian has the power to make all decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person regarding his or her personal or financial needs. A person is found to lack total capacity if he or she is impaired by reason of mental illness, intellectual disability or physical disability to the extent that the individual lacks sufficient capacity to govern himself and manage his affairs.

New Jersey Statutes §3B:12-24.1(b): Limited Guardian

If a person is deemed to have the capacity for some functions but not others, the court may appoint a limited guardian that can make decisions on the person’s behalf for specific issues, such as living arrangements, finances, or estate planning.

Avoid a Guardianship Proceeding With Advanced Directives

Having advanced directives in place before an individual loses the capacity to make decisions will help eliminate the need for the time and expense of commencing a guardianship proceeding.  In addition, advanced directives can be freely customized to fully express a person’s wishes in the event they become incapacitated in the future.

If you need to initiate a guardianship proceeding on behalf of a relative, or if you would like to consider advanced directives to plan for a potential loss of capacity, it is important to seek the consultation of an elder law attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones, and Sweeney are experienced elder law attorneys that help individuals and their families handle all aspects of elder law, including the execution of advanced directives, updating directives to reflect life changes, guardianships, end-of-life planning, asset preservation, Medicaid planning, and other trust and estate issues. For more information, contact our New Jersey estate planning law firm at (973) 256-0456.

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