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3 Tips for Parents or Caretakers of Vulnerable Adults

1. Legal Guardianship of a vulnerable adult can only be granted once a person turns 18 years old and has a qualifying disability.

Before 18, a person has not reached the statutory age of majority. After 18, only persons who are “incapacitated” are eligible to have a judicially-appointed guardian.

2. In New Jersey, a Legal Guardianship can be declared as to a person’s property, as to a person’s medical needs, or both.

Oftentimes, the same person or persons can be appointed as plenary Guardians of the Person and Estate (Property) of the incapacitated ward. But, a Legal Guardianship may be as restrictive or expansive as the Court orders.

3. Guardians usually must obtain a surety bond to serve.

Guardians appointed by the Court almost always must produce a policy of insurance known as a surety bond securing the proper performance of their duties. Getting pre-qualified for a surety bond prior to initiating a guardianship proceeding helps to ensure a smooth and pain-free process.

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