Becoming the carer of a parent with dementia, Alzheimer’s or other disability may be a tough choice to make. Do you want the responsibility of making all the medical and financial decisions?
A guardianship happens when New Jersey’s Probate part of the Superior Court declares a person incapacitated and appoints a guardian. Incapacitated persons cannot make the needed decisions to manage themselves and their affairs. In New Jersey, two types of guardianships may make your decision easier.
1. General guardianship
There are three categories of guardianship under this type:
- Guardians of the person
- Guardians of the estate
- Guardians of both the person and the estate
The type of guardianship depends on the case. With a general, or plenary, guardianship you would have complete authority to manage:
- Health care
New Jersey law does not allow payment to you for the guardian of the person. However, you can apply for compensation if you are the guardian of the estate or both the person and the estate. The approval for payment must be in the initial judgment or subsequent application.
2. Limited guardianship
Limited guardianship depends on the court’s decision that the alleged incapacitated person can provide for themselves in some areas of their lives but not others. For example, a person cannot physically care for themselves but has the mental capacity to make financial decisions.
New Jersey law requires you to apply for guardianship with the County Surrogate in the county where the incapacitated person lives. The Judgment of Incapacity and Guardian Appointment may require you to provide periodic reports.
As a guardian, you now become the parent of your mother or father. Weigh the pros and cons and become familiar with the responsibilities of guardianship before applying for approval.