Who Can Establish a Guardianship?

Children with elderly parents: If your parent has suffered a physical injury or is enduring a mental decline, such as Alzheimer’s, they may not be able to make their own healthcare decisions, handle their finances or take care of their living situation. If you anticipate any of these circumstances, you may want to consider setting up a guardianship now for your loved one before they become incapacitated.

Parents: If you are a parent of a child with limited physical or mental capabilities, a guardianship can be helpful once they are legal adults, as well as after you pass away. For estate planning purposes, you may want to designate a guardian.

Parents of children with special needs: If your child has special needs, they may be in need of special care and protection even after they turn 18. It is imperative that you set up a guardianship for your special needs child because the law automatically recognizes anyone who turns 18 as an adult who is capable of making their own decisions.

Parents who may be leaving for an extended period of time: Whether you are in the military and expect to go overseas, need to focus on your own health by going to a drug or alcohol rehab facility, or have made a mistake in your life that requires you to serve time in jail, your child may need someone to take care of them in your absence.

Spouses: If your spouse has been involved in a serious car accident, or if you want to make sure they are protected in the event of a catastrophic accident, you should consider establishing a guardianship to make sure your spouse is protected.

Any concerned individual: Anyone can be a guardian, including relatives other than the parents, friends of the family or anyone else. Perhaps you are aware of a child, in your family or in someone else’s family, who is in need of protection going forward. Guardianships are typically established for children who have not yet reached the age of 18. Whether the child is in a difficult family situation that involves physical or emotional abuse, or if the child’s parents are going through a contentious divorce, a guardianship may be the best way to ensure that the child is protected and cared for going forward.

The attorneys Posternock Apell, PC have years of experience protecting the legal needs of guardians and conservators throughout New Jersey. We can guide you through a difficult process and create a plan that is in your family member’s best interest. Call us anytime to discuss your situation with one of our experienced attorneys and take steps to protect your loved one in the future. We look forward to your call.