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Burlington County Location:
Five Greentree Centre 
525 Route 73 North
Suite 104
Marlton, NJ 08053

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Camden County Location:
111 White Horse Pike
Haddon Hts., NJ 08035

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New Jersey Guardianship Law

The NJ Power
of Attorney

     A guardianship is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the decision-making and financial management of a person 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.

     In New Jersey, all guardians are appointed by a Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division. The typical case involves a family member who files an application with the Superior Court requesting a Court Order finding that the person is incapacitated and a guardian appointed to act in the best interest of the person. I handle each aspect of the guardianship process from collection of evidence, preparation of all necessary pleadings and representation at all court appearances.

     What is the definition of “Incapacitated Individual”? The Courts of New Jersey use the following definitions:

1) An individual who is impaired by reason of mental illness or mental deficiency to the extent that he or she lacks sufficient capacity to govern him/herself and manage his/her affairs; or
2) 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 or she lacks sufficient capacity to govern him/herself and manage his/her affairs.

What is a Special Medical Guardian?

     If an URGENT medical condition arises with a patient who is believed to be mentally incapacitated and who has no Advanced Health Care Directive or Living Will, an interested party may petition the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, for an appointment of a Special Medical Guardian to consent to medical procedures that may be necessary to deal with the urgent medical condition. Should the individual remain mentally incapacitated, an action for full guardianship should be initiated by an interested person.

New Jersey Affords Protection Against Abuse, Neglect and/or Exploitation of the Incapacitated

     Adult Protective Services (APS): There is an APS program in each of the 21 counties in New Jersey. If a person is 18 years of age or older, living in community and is subject to abuse, neglect and/or exploitation, a referral to a county APS program may be appropriate. An investigation follows a complaint in which an assessment is undertaken for a potential at-risk adult. If at-risk for abuse, services can be rendered to the adult.

     For those living in nursing homes and other long term health care facilities, the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly may be of assistance.

     NJ Office of the Public Guardian: A State of New Jersey agency that makes legal, financial and healthcare decisions for individuals age 60 and older who have been found to be mentally incapacitated by the New Jersey Superior Court and has been appointed as the individuals guardian by the Court pursuant to a Judgment of Guardianship.

If you need an experienced probate attorney in New Jersey please contact us.


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Copyright © 2000/2011 by New Jersey Attorney, John F. Renner. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of all or any part of this document, without prior permission of John F. Renner, Esq. is expressly prohibited.