Schwartz Hunter, PC provides legal representation in actions to establish a guardianship or conservatorship of adults that require assistance with personal and/or financial affairs. A guardianship is necessary when the incapacitated adult does not have the ability to consent to a Power of Attorney. In addition, the attorneys at Schwartz Hunter, PC are frequently appointed to act as guardian or conservator and/or court appointed counsel in these type of proceedings.
Guardianship is established in the Probate Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey. The matter is initiated by the filing of a Complaint for The Appointment of a Guardian of the Person and/or the Estate in the county in which the alleged incapacitated person resides. The Complaint must contain information that is specified by the New Jersey Court rules. The Complaint must be accompanied by the statements of two physicians made within thirty days of the filing of the Complaint and documenting that the alleged incapacitated person is unable to handle his personal and financial affairs. A statement of the income and assets of the alleged incapacitated person is also to be included. If the court is satisfied with the documents filed an attorney is appointed to represent the interest of the alleged incapacitated person by the Court. This attorney will do an investigation and make recommendations to the court as to the necessity for a guardian and as to the choice of guardian. The legal fees are paid by the funds of the alleged incapacitated person. The court normally conducts a hearing at which time the decision is made as to whether a guardian will be appointed and who that person will be. There are other requirements that the court asks of the Guardians including the filing of an annual report as to the personal and financial status of the incapacitated person.
In some situations a Conservator is appointed as opposed to a Guardian. The appointment of a Conservator requires the consent of the Conservatee. The Conservator only handles financial matters and does not have authority over the conservatee’s personal affairs, such as medical treatment.
Contact Schwartz Hunter, PC to arrange a consultation with a lawyer at a reduced rate by calling 973-895-1175 or by contacting us online. For those clients who may have a difficult time coming to our Randolph, New Jersey, office for an appointment, we can make arrangements to meet with you.