Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset


What is legal guardianship in New Jersey and when would this be important?

What Is Legal Guardianship About?

Legal Guardianship is where an arrangement is made to have someone be a decision maker for someone who is unable to make decisions and is incapacitated. This is usually something that is done in court and is important to do if there is someone close to you who is incapacitated.

There are essentially two types of Guardianship a person can opt for, either general guardianship or limited guardianship. General guardianship is relevant to people who are unable to make or express thoughts and decisions; this is also known as plenary guardianship. Limited guardianship is relevant for those who are able to make some decisions but are not fully able to express their decisions. This type covers decision making that is based on residential, medical, legal, educational, vocational and financial problems that surface.

The Importance of Guardianship

When someone is incapacitated, they are individuals usually over 18 who are not able to make solid decisions that are revolved around their safety and wellbeing, therefore unable to control their everyday life due to medical constraints. This ultimately limits them and requires them to appoint a guardian. Guardianship is especially important to young adults that have developmental mental disabilities that are serious, other medical issues such as traumatic brain injury are also required a guardian. However guardianship is also required for elderly people with mental disabilities such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, were they are unable to function mentally and pose a risk to their safety.

Applying for Guardianship

To become a guardian for someone, the case must go to court for proceedings in New Jersey. Guardianship could also be required when an incapacitated person has signed a limited type of power of attorney that is unable to take care of everything required.

When beginning to apply for an application for guardianship various sectors should be covered and acknowledged to ensure guidelines are followed in accordance with the law. A parent is still able to involve themselves in educational affairs unless the individual says otherwise; the guardianship does not depend on school meetings and other similar programs. Furthermore, parents can still be involved in medical problems and give consent in cases where a next of kin is required in emergencies.

Applications for guardianship must have regular assessments from a qualified psychologist that is licensed in New Jersey, alternatively a licensed medical doctor. The guardian can be a member of the family, a person from a guardianship service agency or a person that seems fit for guardianship.

Co-guardians is when there is more than one person as a guardian for an individual and both have a say in ultimate decision making, however, there is a share in what the outcome is. They must also make all decisions and arrangements together and gather consent were required for the individual. When the guardian or co-guardians have been decided and selected by the court, from there on only the court can change the guardianship application.