New Jersey residents who are thinking about the future and want to make sure they are fully prepared will understand the value of creating an estate plan. This may include a will, a trust and other options to care for loved ones and make sure their assets go where they want them to go after they have died.
For some, there are other areas of estate planning that are necessary. If they are responsible for a minor or are an incapacitated adult, they may need to think about a guardianship. It is essential to be fully aware of the facts about a guardianship and whether it is suitable for the situation.
Key facts about guardianships
When naming a guardian, it is important to remember that the named person will be legally authorized to act on behalf of the minor or the incapacitated adult. Therefore, it is a significant responsibility and commitment. Their objective is to make sure the ward’s welfare is the primary focus and their needs are met. The guardian will also make decisions for the ward and give consent. The ward must be kept involved in the process if they are able.
The state will oversee the guardian-ward relationship through the Division of Developmental Disabilities. In some cases, the guardianship will be limited and the ward can make some of their own decisions. In a general guardianship, those who have shown no ability to make their own decisions will be cared for by the guardian.
It is vital to select a trustworthy person to be the guardian. That includes making sure they are willing to live up to the responsibility. If the person who was appointed cannot perform the duties or does not want to be the guardian, they can name another person to fill the role. The Bureau of Guardianship Services can also be named the guardian.
For guardianships as part of estate planning, it is wise to have professional advice
Since the responsibilities of a guardian are so vast, the testator should account for the seemingly endless challenges that might arise when a person is trusted with the role. For comprehensive assistance with all areas of estate planning, it is useful to have professional advice from the start. This is especially true for complicated estates and areas of concern like a loved one who may need a guardianship.