Filing for Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person
Adults with impaired capacity may need someone to become their legal guardian. An applicant, typically the proposed guardian, must file a Complaint seeking guardianship, along with two separate doctor's certifications outlining diagnosis and prognosis. The Court will appoint an attorney for the alleged incapacitated person and file a detailed report with the Court. A Superior Court judge will then review all documents and may hold a hearing. He or she will make a decision regarding guardianship.
The Hunterdon County Surrogate's Court can assist pro-se applicants (applicants without an attorney) with the process in straightforward guardianship cases.
A Title 30 (DDD) application is one where the alleged incapacitated person is developmentally disabled and eligible for, or receiving services from, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”). (Autism, Down's Syndrome, etc.)
A Title 3B (DD) application is one where the alleged incapacitated person is developmentally disabled, but is not eligible for or receiving services from DDD. (Autism, Down's Syndrome, etc.)
Title 3B entails all other applications (accident-related injury; dementia, Alzheimer's, etc.)
Types of Guardianship
Guardianship of the Person
Entails the ability to make medical, legal, educational, and vocational arrangements and decisions for the incapacitated person.
Guardianship of the Property
Entails the ability to make financial arrangements and decisions for the incapacitated person.
Guardianship of the Person & Property
Entails the ability to make all of the above-arrangements and decisions.
Entails very specific decision-make abilities.
DOCUMENTS FOR FILING FOR GUARDIANSHIP
- Determine what type of Guardianship you will be filing for. Call our office if guidance is needed.
- Print the appropriate checklist below. This will show you the step-by-step process of filing for guardianship.
- Complete the appropriate guardianship packet. You must make sure that all fillable boxes have been filled. Be sure to double-check this, as not all of the boxes will auto-fill each document. Any blank lines in the documents stay blank for the court to complete.
- Remember to date and sign your documents. We require originals.
Private Pro Se Guardianship
Private Guardianship Pro Se Packets
DDD Pro Se Guardianship
DDD Guardianship Pro Se Packets
- Case Information Statement (PDF)
- DDD Packet for Guardianship of the Person and Property (DOCX) - This packet may be used for an alleged Incapacitated Person with a chronic developmental disability before the age of 21 and is potentially eligible for "DDD" (or equivalent) services in his/her lifetime.
DDD Supporting Certifications
Is the alleged incapacitated person eligible Can't decide whether you should use the DDD application or not? Here's the differences:
|Filing Fee Waived||$200 Filing Fee|
|More flexible with documents required||Requires 2 doctor’s certifications with exam dates within 30 days of your filing date|
|Pro-bono (free) attorney assigned for the alleged incapacitated person||You must pay for the attorney the Court is required to assign to the alleged incapacitated person|
|Minimum of 120-day wait between filing your Complaint and the guardianship hearing||Roughly 4-6 weeks between filing your complaint and the guardianship hearing|
Pro SE Packets to Add a Guardian or Substitute a Guardian
- Packet to Add a Co-Guardian (PDF) - This is used to add an additional guardian to work with an existing guardian.
- Packet for Substitute Guardian (PDF) - This is used when new guardians take the place of previously appointed guardians.
- Court-Appointed Guardian Video Tutorial
- Guide to Guardianship of the Person (PDF)
- Guide to Guardianship of the Estate (PDF)