Elder Care Laws Involving Guardianships and Conservatorships

Do You Need an Elder Care Lawyer to Assist With a Conservatorship or Legal Guardianship in New Jersey?

The Elder Care Lawyers at Hanlon Niemann & Wright are Experienced and Trusted in NJ Guardianships and Conservatorships.  Please Contact Us Today.

As we age, life gets harder.  When a person reaches a point in his or her life where, due to either age or a disability, he or she cannot effectively care for personal, medical, and financial matters, it may be time to consider a legal guardianship or conservatorship should a Power of Attorney and/or a Healthcare Directive and Living Will not be feasible. A conservator or legal guardian handles the personal and/or financial needs of another person who is legally incapacitated and unable to act independently on their own.

Generally, a spouse, adult child, or family member is appointed as a legal guardian or conservator and given various powers enforceable by law to protect a loved one.

Many families do not know that in NJ a spouse and/or an adult child has no legal decision-making authority over his/her parent or spouse and neither does a parent have legal decision-making authority over their adult child(ren)?

The appointment of a legal guardian is taken seriously in New Jersey because a legal guardian can make all of the decisions that impact the daily life of an incapacitated person. Some of these decisions include:

  • Control of financial and contractual affairs;
  • Choice of where a loved one resides;
  • Decision-making over nutrition, clothing, and freedom of travel;
  • Acceptance or denial of medical care;
  • Estate and asset preservation planning;
  • Visitation and communication access with others;
  • Restriction of a loved one’s civil rights and personal freedom.

The Importance of Using an Elder Care Attorney to Assist With a Legal Guardianship in NJ

Alternatives to Guardianship(s) – Which is Better, a Conservatorship or Legal Guardianship? Let an Experienced NJ Elder Care Lawyer Help You Decide Which is the Better Choice for Your Loved One

What is a Conservatorship?

In New Jersey, a conservatorship is much more limited in scope than a guardianship.  It is also voluntary, meaning if the person who is believed to be at risk objects to the appointment of a conservator, then the only recourse is a legal guardianship or what’s called a protective proceeding. Like a guardianship, a conservatorship is court-ordered and involves a financial protector for the person who is unable to make sound financial decisions for himself or herself due to old age and/or a mental or physical impairment.  Unlike a legal guardianship, however, a conservatorship is limited to a dependent person’s financial affairs.  A conservator does not have legal control over the non-financial affairs and day-to-day life care decision-making of a weakened person. A conservator will be appointed to handle only those powers necessary to make the following financial decisions:

  • Payments for the support, maintenance and welfare of the conservatee;
  • Power to undertake estate and asset preservation planning, including Medicaid eligibility.
  • Payment of all lawful debts and bills owed by the conservatee;
  • Collect upon all debts and monies owed to the conservatee;
  • Take possession and manage the conservatee’s real estate, investments, and assets;
  • Limit physical and electronic access by predators and exploiters.

A NJ Conservatorship attorney can help you present the best evidence needed to persuade a court that there is a need for a conservator to be appointed and can thereafter assist you in compliance with court directives as the conservator relationship evolves.

Want to learn more?  Then call Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com

Mr. Niemann welcomes your calls and inquiries and you’ll find him easy to talk to about your most sensitive concerns.

Fredrick P. Niemann Esq.


Actual Client Testimonial

Early Dementia, Alzheimer’s. My Mom’s health deteriorated to the point she required full-time care. She wanted to live at home but required regular help with the essentials of daily living (i.e. dressing, bathing, etc.). As her caregiver daughter, the responsibilities fell on me to figure out what to do. Thank goodness for Hanlon Niemann & Wright and Mr. Niemann.

He met with me and explained all my options for my mom, from at home/community care, assisted living, state, county and local programs for the elderly, financial eligibility for benefits, Medicaid qualification, pharmaceutical assistance, utility aid, Medicare and Veteran’s benefits, etc. While I felt overwhelmed by it all, Mr. Niemann clearly was in control of what could be done for Mom. We engaged him to make applications for subsidized at-home care and assistance through available grant programs and as part of his services to us, he is counseling us on a reverse mortgage, income and financial products to enhance Mom’s monthly income and to reduce her expenses. Mom would tell me to let Mr. Niemann make all the decisions although I am her Power of Attorney. I value so much his confident and generally caring manner. If you’re trying to help your Mom, Dad or family member deal with a life changing health condition, call Hanlon Niemann. I’m glad I did and so is Mom.

Mary Layton – Farmingdale, NJ



Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a New Jersey Elder Care Attorney

Elder Law Lawyers serving these New Jersey Counties:

Monmouth County, Ocean County, Essex County, Cape May County, Camden County, Mercer County, Middlesex County,
Bergen County, Morris County, Burlington County,
Union County, Somerset County, Hudson County, Passaic County