Court-appointed legal guardians make decisions for incapacitated people, referred to as “wards” in New Jersey, about personal and medical care, meals, transportation, and even where a ward lives. Guardians also control assets, manage budgets, pay debts, and make all financial and investment decisions for the wards they assist.
The New Jersey Court Rules were revised effective September 1, 2016. The most significant change to the Rules reflects the development of a Guardianship Monitoring Program, which the Superior Court is now required to operate. As Chief Justice Stuart Rabner announced, with the increasing population of elder and disabled persons, the Guardianship Monitoring Program reflects “an increased need for protection with an enhanced level of oversight of legal guardians.” http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/guardianship/.
The program is described as follows:
The New Jersey Judiciary Guardianship Monitoring Program (GMP) is a comprehensive statewide volunteer-based court program established to monitor guardians in their handling of the affairs of incapacitated individuals, including elderly and developmentally disabled adults. The GMP monitors guardianship cases to ensure that guardians of incapacitated persons are performing their duties appropriately. Monitoring and oversight of guardianships helps identify, address, prevent, and deter activities that are harmful to incapacitated individuals. Trained GMP volunteers use the Guardianship Monitoring System (GMS), a computer application comprised of a statewide guardianship database and a report review tool, to track and follow up on guardianship files. The volunteers’ work ensures that guardians comply with statutory and court-ordered requirements to file documents and reports and manage the affairs of incapacitated individuals effectively.
The Guardianship Monitoring Program Brochure is available online at http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/guardianship/Guardianship.pdf. Attorneys, accountants, retired professionals, and students were among those sought as volunteers in the new Guardianship Monitoring Program.
In connection with this new program, a proposed guardian must acknowledge to the Surrogate that he/she has completed guardianship training and received the new guardianship training guides prior to qualifying as guardian and receiving Letters of Guardianship. In addition, the new guardianship training program requires proposed guardians to view a guardianship training video. The new video can be viewed below:
Two guardianship training guides have been developed for the program. One guide describes the duties of a guardian of the ward’s person. The other guide describes the responsibilities of guardians of the ward’s property or estate. The two guides are attached below.
Here is a PDF guide for Guardians of the Person:
Here is a PDF guide for Guardians of the Property/Estate:
For additional information concerning guardianships and fiduciary services, visit: http://vanarellilaw.com/guardianship-fiduciary-services/
For additional information concerning elder abuse actions, visit: http://vanarellilaw.com/will-contests-probate-litigation-elder-abuse-actions-2/#viiieaa