Guardianship Lawyers in Ocean County, New Jersey
Guardianship explained by NJ Guardianship Lawyer
Monmouth County Guardianship lawyers here at Riviere Advocacy Group know what it means to be guardian. A guardianship is a court given right to a court appointed person (usually a family member) to be responsible for the financial and health decisions of someone who is incapable of making these decisions and who has not made alternate arrangements through the execution of a valid Financial Power of Attorney and Living Will/Advanced Health Care Directive.
Contact our office today and an experienced Ocean County guardianship attorney will consult you on the guardianship
When someone, due incapacity, cannot manage his/her personal and/or financial affairs as a result of age or infirmity, a guardianship action may be commenced in New Jersey Superior Court and an experienced Monmouth County guardianship lawyer can assist you in the process. The guardianship action will seek to have the person at issue declared incapacitated and furthermore, will appoint a guardian for him/her. If you feel that a person is on the brink of being incapacitated or that other siblings/persons might try to take advantage of that person; a timely action for guardianship can prevent irreversible loss and harm to the person and their finances. There have been many case of “granny snatching,” in New Jersey. “Granny snatching,” is the unauthorized removal or retention of an older person, which may be undertaken to pursue guardianship in another state or to avoid a guardianship in the state from which the elder was snatched. Typically if someone lives in New Jersey the New Jersey Courts have jurisdiction over guardianship actions based upon their “parens patriae” power, which is derived from the traditional authority of the sovereign to protect those persons within the state who cannot protect themselves because of a legal disability. In re Grady, 85 N.J. 235 (1981).
New Jersey statutes define an “incapacitated individual” as follows:
“Incapacitated individual” means an individual who is impaired by reason of mental illness or mental deficiency to the extent that he lacks sufficient capacity to govern himself and manage his affairs. The term incapacitated individual is also used to designate an individual who is impaired by reason of physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic alcoholism or other cause (except minority) to the extent that he lacks sufficient capacity to govern himself and manage his affairs.
Some of the reasons one may want to seek guardianship are:
- Illness or Trauma. The alleged incapacitated person has suffered a serious illness or trauma and cannot manage financial and/or personal care needs as a result.
- Abuse. The alleged incapacitated person is suffering physical or financial abuse.
- Susceptibility to Fraud or Abuse. The alleged incapacitated person is being taken advantage of or is highly susceptible to fraud and abuse.
- Medical Treatment. The alleged incapacitated person needs medical treatment but lacks the ability to give informed consent and has no directive or irrationally refuses medical treatment.
- Living Trusts or Other Plans Abused. The alleged incapacitated person has a living trust but the trustee is either failing to care for him or has taken advantage of trust assets.
- Failed Durable Power of Attorney. The alleged incapacitated person has executed a Durable Power of Attorney, but the attorney-in-fact has failed to act or has taken advantage of the alleged incapacitated person.
- Estate and Tax Planning. Estate and tax planning is needed to provide estate protection, but the alleged incapacitated person lacks capacity to execute necessary documents or to take other planning steps.
- Asset Preservation and Long-Term Care. Asset preservation planning is necessary because the alleged incapacitated person is in or entering long-term care and protective planning must be done for the benefit of the spouse, who will continue to live at home. Because the alleged incapacitated person lacks capacity to execute necessary planning documents or take other planning steps, court approval of such steps may be necessary.