elderly woman holding embracing hands

Guardianship New Jersey is the legal process by which the court appoints someone to oversee adults that are not able to make decisions for themselves. Court appointed guardians are granted legal authority to make health care and/or financial decisions for a person found to be incapacitated. There are several reasons why someone might need a guardian.

  • If an individual had capacity at one point in their lives and subsequently becomes unable to make decisions for themselves. The loss of decision- making ability can be dementia, mental illness, physical illness or disability, chronic drug use or chronic alcoholism.
  • If an individual has a developmental disability. At 18 all individuals, including those born with developmental disabilities, reach the legal age of majority.  This means that parents can no longer make decisions legally on behalf of an adult child, regardless of the nature of the individual’s disability, even if the disability has been present throughout their life.
  • Asset protection: If an individual has assets that need to be protected, guardianship may be necessary to ensure that their assets are managed appropriately. This could be due to the individual’s incapacity or vulnerability to financial exploitation.
  • Healthcare decisions: If an individual is unable to make healthcare decisions for themselves, guardianship may be necessary to ensure that their medical needs are addressed. This could be due to a disability or illness that prevents them from making decisions about their healthcare.
  • Legal decisions: If an individual is unable to make legal decisions for themselves, guardianship may be necessary to ensure that their legal affairs are managed appropriately. This could be due to a disability, illness, or incapacity that prevents them from making legal decisions.

In summary, guardianship in New Jersey may be necessary to protect the interests of individuals who are unable to make decisions for themselves. If you believe that you or a loved one may be in need of a guardian, consult with an experienced elder law attorney in New Jersey to discuss your options.