New Jersey Guardianship Lawyers
New Jersey Guardianship Lawyers Help Families Make Necessary Decisions for Incapacitated Loved Ones
Families who have loved ones that cannot make decisions on their own behalf may need to petition the court to appoint a guardian. Guardianship petitions are frequently filed by families with older loved ones who can no longer make their own decisions. Guardianship petitions are also an important tool for families who have children with disabilities. At Begley Law Group, our dedicated team of New Jersey estate planning lawyers has extensive experience helping families from all backgrounds pursue guardianship of their loved ones. For those families looking ahead, we can also go over less expensive and easier alternatives to the guardianship process.
Are There Any Alternatives to a Guardianship Petition?
While a guardianship is unavoidable in certain situations, if a family plans in advance, they may be able to use a Power of Attorney instead of a seeking guardianship. A Power of Attorney document allows for one person to make certain decisions on behalf of another. In this way, a Power of Attorney is similar to a guardianship. However, unlike a guardianship petition, a Power of Attorney does not need to be ratified or approved by a court. Instead, the person giving another person the right to make decisions on their behalf signs the document. Of course, the person signing the document must be of sound mind and also must understand what they are doing.
For many with aging loved ones, pursuing a power of attorney now can save significant time and expense in the future. However, for families with adult children living with one or more disabilities, signing the Power of Attorney may not be a possibility if they are not competent to do so. In these cases, a guardianship petition may be the best option.
What Is the New Jersey Guardianship Process?
The legal definition of a guardian is “a person or agency appointed by a court to act on behalf of an individual.” Appointing a guardian greatly restricts a person’s freedom, so the process of appointing a guardian is a very formal one. In New Jersey, only the Superior Court can appoint a guardian. To begin the process, someone files a petition for guardianship.
Once the petition is filed, the court will appoint counsel for the allegedly incapacitated person. This is to ensure that there is a need for a guardianship, and to represent the person’s interests throughout the process.
Before a court appoints a guardian, the person moving for guardianship must establish that guardianship is necessary. This is done through the testimony of a New Jersey medical doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist. Depending on the results of the medical expert’s evaluation, the court appoint either a limited or general guardianship.
Limited guardianships: If the person for who guardianship is sought can make some of their own decisions, then the court will likely appoint a limited guardian. In a limited guardianship, the court will specify which of the following six areas the guardian has the power to make decisions:
General guardianships: If the person for whom the guardianship is sought cannot express their desires or make any of their own decisions, the court will appoint a general, or plenary, guardian.
Establishing NJ Guardianship with Begley Law Group, PC
The Begley Law Group, PC Value Package
Our Goal is to assist you in obtaining legal guardianship of a loved one.
Here’s what you get with a Begley Law Group, PC consultation:
- Conference with attorney to discuss if Guardianship is appropriate
- Discuss appointment of guardian to gain control of personal care decision-making
- Discuss appointment of guardian to gain control of financial decision-making
- Discuss appointment of guardian to gain control of medical decision-making
- Ability to engage in Medicaid Planning
- Ability to engage in Tax Planning
Here’s what you get when you retain us:
- Diligent assessment of particular issues relating to Guardianship and individual client needs
- Firm expedites the appointment process
- Relieves stress on the family
- Guidance with respect to Medicaid and Tax Planning
- Coordinate potential evaluationof psychiatrists and physicians
- Assistance in obtaining the necessary effectuation of service
- Diligent assessment and assistance with conflicts involving contested Guardianship
- Representation in litigation matter, if necessary
- Prepare accountings, if necessary
- Prepare and file tax returns, if necessary
- Assistance in obtaining bond, if necessary
- Several attorneys available to attend court on earliest possible date and to answer questions
- Able to handle emergent applications
- Firm can find a guardian if the family cannot
Begley Law Group, PC seeks to maximize guardianship opportunities by analyzing potential avenues of tax relief and Medicaid planning. Our firm will help you navigate the required court proceedings to ensure your loved one is cared for by a trusted guardian.
Discuss Your Needs with a Knowledgeable New Jersey Estate Planning Attorney
Special needs planning is crucial for all families who have a minor or adult child with disabilities or special needs. By taking care to create solid plan now, families may be able to avoid significant expense and stress later on. The skilled New Jersey and Pennsylvania estate planning attorneys at Begley Law Group command an in-depth knowledge of all guardianship and special needs planning principles, and put this knowledge behind client we serve. We also handle veteran’s benefits, estate planning, Medicaid planning and other issues related to the practice of New Jersey elder law. To learn more, and to set up a time for your consultation, call 856-235-8501 or toll-free at 800-533-7227. You can also reach out to us through our online form.