If New Jersey residents fail to make a plan regarding the possibility of becoming incapacitated, they are putting themselves in very vulnerable positions. Without the proper legal documents in place, they could become the center of contested guardianships that, let's face it, can cause a lot of family problems. This week, this column will briefly discuss guardianships and what one can do to avoid becoming the ward of one.
You are at a stage of life when you have young children at home. You would do anything and everything for them. Have you considered what would happen to them if you were no longer in the picture? While the vast majority of parents in New Jersey do not want to think about their own incapacitation or death, when you have minor children, planning for what will happen to them if you die or are no longer capable of taking care of them can help prevent issues later -- like contested guardianships.
The ability to take guardianship of an adult has been made possible for good reason. Unfortunately, those seeking guardianships are not always doing so for the best interests of the individuals of whom they are placed in charge. When this happens, it may be possible to fight the validity of the guardianship in court. A New Jersey-based attorney who has experience handling contested guardianships may prove extremely helpful in doing this.
Watching your parents age can be difficult. Due to physical and mental decline, sometimes a parent needs to be placed in the care of a guardian. What if guardianship is granted and the individual to whom your parent is entrusted fails to do what is best for your mom or dad? Believe it or not, contested guardianships happen quite frequently in New Jersey and elsewhere. If you believe your parent deserves better than what he or she is getting, you can take steps to have the guardian's powers revoked.