Guardianship actions are filed with the Chancery Division of the Superior Court. The process is initiated when a person thinks that another person is unable, due to incapacity, to manage his/her personal and/or financial affairs. An action for guardianship starts by an application with the court and such application is made by a complaint.
Pursuant to R. 4:86-1 of the New Jersey Rules of Court, a petition by way of Verified Complaint and Order to Show Cause is filed with the Court, which asks the Court to render its decision. A guardianship action involves a court determination that the individual is “an incapacitated person who is unfit and unable to govern himself or herself and manage his or her affairs.” R. 4:86-2(b)(6). In the event that a determination of incapacitation is made, the court may appoint a “guardian of the person”, to make personal decisions such as living arrangements and health decisions, and/or a “guardian of the property” to manage the incapacitated person’s estate and finances. As set forth below, the court may also order a limited guardianship.