By: Robert J. Shanahan, Jr., Esq.
Guardian candidates are now required to view a video created by the New Jersey Judiciary prior to being appointed by the Court. The New Jersey Courts want to be sure that guardians are aware of their responsibilities and obligations prior to their appointment.
Guardianship Monitoring Program in New Jersey
The Guardianship Monitoring Program, instituted by the New Jersey Courts a few years ago, is an effort to protect vulnerable adults from financial and physical abuse. Suffice it to say, the frequency of guardians and other fiduciaries using the assets of the elderly for their own purposes is high. The guardian video, which is another part of this program, is meant to ensure that guardians understand not only their powers, but how to exercise them: solely in the best interests of their ward.
What This Might Mean to You
If you are filing for guardianship, you will be required to state, under oath, that you have watched this video. The “Court Appointed Guardianship Video Tutorial” can be found at www.judiciary.state.nj.us. On this main page, you will see grey boxes at the left margin. Click on, “Guardianship Monitoring Program”. Then choose “Guides and Tutorials”, and click on “Court Appointed Guardianship Video Tutorial”. The video is about twenty minutes long. In one spot it may be confusing in that is seems to indicate that there is another video you are required to view. This is not the case. The video you are watching is the only required video under the court rules.
Guardianships consist of two parts: Guardianship of the Person, and Guardianship of the Property. These are referenced in the video, but may not be adequately explained. The Guardian of the Person is responsible for decisions relating to the care of their ward. For example, decisions regarding medical care and housing would be their responsibility. The Guardian of the Property is responsible for the ward’s money and assets. For example, paying bills, filing tax returns, and selling a house would be their responsibility. However, most guardianships serve both functions, and are called, “Plenary Guardianships”.
We encourage you to explore the other topics relating to guardianship while you are on the New Jersey Judiciary website. Forms and good advice are available to you. Of course, your attorneys at Shanahan & Voigt will guide you through this process and answer any questions that you have about being a guardian. Bob Shanahan has been a guardian, himself, and holds a wealth of practical information for you.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS MERELY AN EDUCATIONAL SERVICE TO PROVIDE BASIC, GENERAL INFORMATION AND IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE OF ANY SORT. FURTHER, BY EXPLORING THIS INFORMATION, YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS BEING FORMED.