Is Guardianship Needed Now… or Soon?
If So, Learn What You Can Do Today!
When a loved one reaches a point in his or her life where, due to either old age or disability (especially a disability in younger adults) and/or youth, he or she cannot effectively care for personal, medical, and financial matters, it’s time to consider a legal guardianship or conservatorship.
Guardianship is to Protect the Vulnerable
Many families whose lives are affected by aging, disability, mental or physical incapacity, and/or illness worry about the future of a loved one, often a parent, young adult, sibling, or extended family member or friend. Who will care for this vulnerable person now or when (or if) he/she becomes incapacitated? Who will help them make important medical, financial, and life care decisions? Will he or she have the support, resources, and services they need? Who will look out for them, protect them? Will the courts get involved and appoint a guardian or conservator if nothing is done soon?
When you need answers to these important questions and decisions need to be made, consult with a caring, knowledgeable, and experienced NJ guardianship attorney at Hanlon Niemann & Wright.
Call our office today. Ask for Mr. Niemann to personally discuss in confidence and privately your Guardianship concerns and questions toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll be glad you did.
Introduction to New Jersey Guardianship Laws
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for successfully representing me and getting the court to award guardianship of my mother to me. You have done excellent research, follow up and demonstrated professional skills as an attorney in this matter. I applaud you for your patience, understanding, guidance and compassion not only to my mother but to me and my sister. You have been prompt in responding to my questions by emails in a timely manner. Thank you again.
Baktha Kumar – Union, NJ
Under What Circumstances is a Person Subject to Guardianship Under NJ Law?
Laws defining when a person is subject to guardianship vary from state to state. Legal standards are also different depending on whether a full guardianship or a limited guardianship is being requested. In New Jersey, a person is generally considered to be in need of a guardianship when he or she lacks the mental capability to make rational decisions and understand the consequences resulting from those decisions for both their general health and welfare, safety and/or financial well-being. A good example is when a person cannot be left alone because a physical or cognitive condition renders them at risk of injury, death, or financial exploitation (like leaving the stove on for hours at a time, driving aimlessly around and getting lost). But age alone (whether young or old) is not a criteria to legally apply for guardianship.
A person can’t be declared in need of a guardianship simply because he or she makes irresponsible or foolish decisions. The law requires the person to show a lack of capacity (understanding) to make sound decisions. For example, a person may not be declared incompetent simply because he or she spends money in ways that seem odd to someone else. Also, a confirmed medical diagnosis of a developmental disability or mental illness is not, by itself, enough to medically support a guardianship. There must be more… a finding of serious risk, injury, financial exploitation, or death to the person.
Understanding the Role of Being a Guardian or Conservator
A guardian or conservator is a person who is ultimately approved by a court to protect a vulnerable person. The person or persons are called “guardian(s)” or “conservator(s)”. A guardian or conservator attends to the personal and/or financial needs of another.” A spouse or child is typically appointed as the legal guardian or conservator of his/her spouse or parent(s) and given various powers to protect their spouse, parent(s), adult child, or a loved one.
I am 86 years old, a widow and live in Manalapan, New Jersey. I cannot say enough about the caring, kind and compassionate staff with Fredrick P. Niemann. Mrs. Urciuoli always takes my calls and knows me by my first name. She is patient and concerned about me and my welfare. She has even called to wish me happy holidays and check on my health. Fredrick P. Niemann and the attorneys and staff of his office are a special law firm.
Ruth Leibowitz, Manalapan, NJ
I thank Fred from the bottom of my heart for successfully representing me and getting the court to award guardianship of my mother to me. You have done excellent research, follow up and demonstrated professional skills as an attorney in this matter. I applaud you for your patience, understanding, guidance and compassion not only to my mother but to me and my sister. You have been prompt in responding to my questions by emails in a timely manner. Thank you again.
Baktha Kumar – Union, NJ
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Understanding the Legal Authority and Powers of a Guardian Under New Jersey Law
The appointment of a legal guardian in New Jersey is something that’s not taken lightly by the court. A legal guardian is charged with addressing the needs of the incapacitated person. Some of the powers given to the guardian include, but are not limited to
- Choice of where the loved one resides (i.e., home residence, assisted living, nursing home care, institutional setting);
- Acceptance or denial of medical care (i.e., physicians, hospitals, medications, etc.) and selection of professionals to assist the person in his/her essential personal needs;
- Control of financial and contractual affairs (i.e., bookkeeping, banking, finances, investments);
- Estate and asset protection planning;
- Restrictions over personal freedom, choice, and mobility (i.e., driving and forfeiture of driving licenses);
- Restrictions and limitations over visitation, solicitations & contact(s) by undesirable persons, including predatory family members.
Call our office today. Ask for Mr. Niemann to personally discuss your NJ Guardianship.
He welcomes your calls and inquiries and you’ll find him very approachable and easy to talk to.
I look forward to speaking with you soon.
I’m not sure if you recall, but you met myself and my brother back in March in reference to my elderly father Callis Bridgers. We met with you late on a Saturday evening at your office with very heavy hearts. What led us to your firm was that my stepmother had taken my elderly father to PA and admitted him to an assisted living facility on the sly. We came to you wearing our hearts on our sleeves not knowing if there was anything we could do as his children to protect his best interests or more importantly bring him back home to NJ. His dementia left him unaware of what had happened to him or that he was being tossed aside due to inconvenience and greed.
Within a few days, I received a call from Bonnie Wright, a person I have come to call friend. You see, the purpose of this email is to thank Fred and to tell you what a wonderful person you have in your midst. Although I have only met Bonnie once, I will never forget her face. The face of the angel that helped myself and my brothers fight for a man that could not fight for himself……Bonnie became our beacon in the dark.
Your office helped us secure a co-guardianship agreement with my stepmother that allows for me to watch over my father and participate in decisions about his future. In addition, the agreement gives me the ability to closely watch his finances to ensure he is never taken advantage of again. And one day, he will come back home to NJ.
Bonnie gave us hope when it seemed so far out of reach. It has been a long nine months but worth all the heart ache. She is truly a gem and deserves recognition for all the hard work she did to secure some piece of mind in a senseless situation. Not only is she a wonderful lawyer but also a compassionate person. Again, I call her “friend” as she has been my rock and given me encouragement through all the tears and uncertain moments.
I thank the Lord and you, Fred, for bringing her light to our dark situation. God Bless.
Elizabeth Havens – Columbus, NJ
Legal Guardianship or Conservatorship in NJ: Which is the Right Choice?
Sometimes a legal arrangement can be established for a person that does not require the filing of a full Guardianship application. This alternative to guardianship is called a “conservatorship”. In New Jersey, a conservatorship is more limited than a guardianship. It is voluntary, meaning the vulnerable person must consent to having a conservator appointed for him or her because they admit they need help. Like a legal guardianship, a conservatorship is a court-ordered relationship between a financial protector and a person who is unable to make sound financial decisions or manage their finances due to old age or mental/physical disability. Unlike a legal guardianship, however, a conservatorship only deals with the person’s financial matters when they need assistance. The conservator will be given the authority necessary to make the following financial decisions:
- Pay the expenses of the person for their support, maintenance, welfare (when appropriate), and education;
- Pay the lawful debts owed by the person;
- Taken physical and legal possession of personal property;
- Power and duty to collect all debts owed to the person;
- Power to engage in tax, estate, and asset protection planning;
- Manage the person’s finances, investments, banking and bills.
What’s really beneficial about a conservatorship is that once the conservator is appointed by a judge of the Superior Court, the authority of the conservator over the finances becomes absolute, meaning the conservator has full control and legal authority to manage, direct, and protect the resources of the vulnerable person. Once appointed by the courts, only a sitting judge of the courts can remove the conservator, not the vulnerable person who may become unhappy when restrictions are put in place to protect him or her.
Let’s Get Into a Detailed Discussion About New Jersey Guardianship
Here are some real life testimonials
Fred is an amazing and dynamic person. I have attended a few of his workshops and CEU events over the years and his interactive discussions have been both educational and entertaining. He is one of the few lawyers out there that I do trust and does whatever he says he is going to (Accountability) whoever I have referred his way has always thanked me for connecting them and this is why I continue to work w/ Fred. Great person, excellent ethics, and very knowledgeable. I highly recommend him.
Steve Weiss, Regional Director of Professional Relations, Senior Bridge
I retained Fred Niemann initially for my disabled son’s guardianship application. Then I retained him for a Will for myself and my wife and a Codicil for a Special Needs Trust for my son and could not have been happier with the results, cost and service provided by Fred and his entire staff. They were extremely professional and helpful from top to bottom.
Anthony D. Grande, Esq., Oakhurst, NJ
Guardianship Attorneys serving these New Jersey Counties:
Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Cape May County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Bergen County,
Morris County, Burlington County, Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Passaic County
New Jersey Guardianship Lawyer | Conservatorship Attorney in NJ
Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, A New Jersey Guardianship Attorney