Estate planning isn’t just about wills and trusts. In fact, there are many tools available in estate planning’s toolbox, and they can be adapted to the unique needs and goals of all kinds of clients during their lives and afterwards. For instance, many people setting up an estate plan may want to consider setting up a plan for guardianship.
The basics of guardianships
In New Jersey, guardians are appointed by a court and serve a significant role in the life of an incapacitated person. As legal guardians, they can make decisions for the incapacitated person concerning their medical care, meals, transportation and living arrangements. Guardians may also control the assets of the incapacitated person, manage their budgets, pay their debts and make all financial and investment decisions for the incapacitated person.
Guardians possess significant authority and responsibility for the incapacitated person or child for their care, health and well-being. To ensure that guardians are living up to their responsibilities and not abusing their authority, New Jersey courts periodically review guardianships. In some circumstances, interested parties may also contest a guardianship if they believe it is not in the best interests of the protected person. Because the guardian is appointed by the court, it may also be possible to challenge the guardian’s appointment.
Guardianship contests and other guardianship issues can be complex. It’s important to have trained guidance through the process of setting up a guardianship. When contesting a guardianship it’s crucial to have experienced legal help. An attorney with experience in estate planning and probate litigation can help individuals and families understand their rights and legal options.