We know how the other side thinks

Attorneys you can trust to protect your best interests.

Guidance For Families Considering Special-Needs Guardianships

Weisberg & Klauber, LLC, is committed to the ethical and compassionate practice of special needs law. Our guardianship lawyers have decades of experience as well as a record of success in helping our clients achieve positive results in cases involving proposed legal guardianship for adults with disabilities.

We help families obtain necessary guardianships for children and other loved ones with conditions like autism, Down Syndrome and dementia. A guardianship for someone with one of these conditions can ensure they will always be financially stable and comfortable in their living environment.

We are fully dedicated to meeting the needs and goals of our clients while fully considering the sensitive nature of guardianships. We have three conveniently located offices in Ocean Township and New Brunswick, allowing us to serve a broad swath of New Jersey.

Guardianships: What To Know About The Process

A guardianship is a legal arrangement in which one person, a guardian, has the right to make legal, medical and financial decisions on behalf of another person – the ward. Guardianships are sometimes necessary for adults with special needs after they leave high school if they lack the capacity to make important decisions for themselves.

Courts do not take guardianships lightly. You will need to appear before a judge to present the evidence for why guardianship over your child is necessary. This is to ensure that you do not intend to use the ward’s government benefits for yourself. Judges try to grant the least restrictive arrangement necessary to ensure the ward retains its autonomy and dignity.

How To Get Guardianship Of A Child With Special Needs

As long as your child is a minor, you have the right to make financial, medical and life decisions on their behalf. Once they turn 18, if a disability prevents them from managing their own affairs, you will need to obtain a guardianship to continue having those legal powers.

The process begins with filing a guardianship request with your county’s county surrogate’s office. This leads to a scheduled hearing before a Superior Court, where the party seeking the guardianship presents evidence supporting their case. The proposed ward can make a case against the guardianship, if they oppose it.

One necessary piece of evidence is a doctor determining that the alleged incapacitated person (AIP) has an incapacitated condition. A psychologist or another doctor must certify the first doctor’s diagnosis, and both exams must take place within 30 days of filing the guardianship request. Both medical professionals must fill out a Certification of Physician or Psychologist giving their opinion. Other documents you must fill out and submit to the court are:

  • Case Information Sheet
  • Certification of Assets
  • Certification of Criminal and Civil Judgment HIstory

If the AIP is eligible for benefits from the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), you must also fill out one of these packets: How to Apply for the Guardianship of the Person and Estate, or How to Apply for the Guardianship of a Person Only. We can guide you through all this paperwork and ensure all court filings are correct and timely. Our legal guardian attorneys will prepare you for the hearing and represent you in court to present your case.

Why Hire A Lawyer?

The steps involved in petitioning the court for guardianship of an adult with special needs are incredibly complex. One error and you stand to derail the process. Our legal guardian attorneys assist you with every piece of paperwork and more to ensure you understand what to expect. In addition, we advise you of your rights and those of your child while also answering your questions. Perhaps most importantly, we provide advice and compassion for the duration of this often emotional decision.

Seek Caring Counsel From Our Team Today

When you are ready to discuss a special needs guardianship, reach out to us at Weisberg & Klauber, LLC, for wise counsel. To schedule your initial consultation, please call us at 732-686-6440 or send us an email.