Understanding the Role of the Court Appointed Attorney in a Guardianship Action

HNWElder Law, Guardianship Law

  • In every guardianship case, the court appoints an attorney for the alleged incapacitated person.
  • Their attorney is required by court rule to advocate a position consistent with the preferences of the person subjected to the guardianship proceeding and to advocate his/her cause zealously.

The New Jersey Supreme Court mandated that a court appointed attorney for an alleged incapacitated person must advocate for the requests of the person.  “Advocacy that is diluted by concerns for the client’s best interests raises troubling questions for attorneys.  An attorney cannot forsake a client’s instructions because of the attorney’s belief in what is in “the client’s best interests”.  Further, if counsel has already concluded that his client needs ‘help’, he is more likely to provide modest, rather than vigorous representation.”

If an alleged incapacitated person (in no uncertain terms) disagrees with the guardianship being sought by a petitioner, then consistent with their legal obligation of zealous advocacy, the attorney must seek a dismissal of the guardianship case.

To discuss your NJ guardianship matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County NJ Guardianship Attorney

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