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All About Temporary Guardianship

All About Temporary Guardianship

You may need to know, “How does temporary guardianship work in an emergency?” If so, call The Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. right away. We have the skills and knowledge to determine whether temporary guardianship is warranted in your circumstances, and we are eager to assist you. Call today for a confidential consultation to learn more about temporary guardianship.

How Does Temporary Guardianship Work?

Under New Jersey law, you can establish a temporary guardianship. With the assistance of an attorney, you can request temporary guardianship of an adult if they have a physical or mental disability and you believe they are incapable of making their own decisions. During emergencies, people often use these guardianships. For example, such circumstances must exist that there is a critical need to protect the individual from substantial harm to themselves, their property, or their business affairs. Additionally, you can only request temporary guardianship if you have a pending application for general guardianship before the court. The person under temporary guardianship refers to themselves as the “ward.”

How Long Does Temporary Guardianship Last in New Jersey?

Typically, individuals establish temporary guardianship for a short period under emergency circumstances. If the court grants temporary guardianship, the guardian has temporary control of and authority over the ward’s affairs. It is a valuable tool when an individual’s health and well-being are at immediate risk. The court may ultimately determine that the individual is incapacitated and may order a general guardianship.

Can You Give Temporary Guardianship to a Family Member? 

Yes. Temporary guardianship may be necessary in the case of an incapacitated adult child. A family member often makes the best choice to serve as a temporary guardian for an incapacitated adult because they are likely nearby and understand the potential harm that could come to the individual if a guardianship is not established.

Typically, the court grants emergency guardianship of a minor child to a family member or someone familiar with the child. Temporary emergency guardianship for a child isn’t meant to exceed a year but may extend beyond. Since the court prioritizes the child’s best interests, it often seeks to formalize legal guardianship.

How to Obtain Temporary Guardianship

a temporary guardianship book with a drawing on it

If someone files a Complaint to appoint a guardian, they can request a temporary guardian of the person, estate, or both. In certain emergency circumstances, the court may appoint a temporary guardian if there is a risk of substantial harm to the alleged incapacitated person or if someone is not managing their affairs properly.

The temporary guardian has authority to arrange interim financial, social, medical, or mental health services for the ward, given the critical need to protect them and their property or assets. Under these temporary guardianship circumstances, the pendente lite temporary guardian has limited authority to act for the alleged incapacitated person only for those services determined by the court to be necessary to address the ward’s critical needs or risk of substantial harm.

If the court grants temporary guardianship, a judge in the New Jersey Superior Court will hear and decide the guardianship case. The judge will hear testimony concerning the potential ward’s incapacitation and may determine incapacitation. If so, the judge may amend the temporary guardianship to reflect the terms of a general guardianship.

The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities says, “[i]n all cases, guardianship should be viewed as a solution of last resort because it removes an individual’s fundamental right of self-determination.” Once the court appoints a guardian, only the court can change or modify the guardianship through an order. Accordingly, your attorney may advise you concerning alternatives to guardianship that may be best for your circumstances, such as a Power of Attorney for your family member.

Call The Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. If You Need to Request Temporary Guardianship

At The Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq., we understand that needing to request temporary guardianship can mean a challenging time in your life and the life of a loved one. Our guardianship attorneys are committed to helping families in their time of need. Rest assured, if you hire our firm, you have a legal advocate available to answer any questions you have. Let an experienced and knowledgeable attorney lead you through the guardianship process. Call us today at (732) 898-2378 to learn more about temporary guardianship.

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