Low Cost Fee- for- Service Guardianship Services

September 11th, 2019

This article is a reprint from the Community Health Law Project.

WHAT: Uncontested guardianship matters for clients who are seeking guardianship of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. To obtain guardianship, the person must be deemed incapacitated by the respective Surrogate’s Court through the legal process.

Low cost fee-for-service program for people not eligible for services through the NJ Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD). This low cost program is specifically available for those between the ages of 18 and 21 (requests can be started at age 17 and a half to be effective at age 18) and people over 21 not currently receiving services from DDD. Income qualifications apply to the person for whom guardianship is being sought.

Full and/or partial guardianships covering residential, educational, financial, medical, vocational and/or legal matters are available.

NOTE: Legal services that are less restrictive, such as powers of attorney and medical directives, may be appropriate for persons not deemed incapacitated. The goal is to have people responsible for and involved in their life decisions whenever possible. CHLP can also provide such services on a fee-for-service basis.

WHERE: For people residing in Essex, Hudson, Passaic and Union Counties.

COST: A flat fee of $1,800 to CHLP for representation in uncontested guardianship proceedings. Fee information can be requested for other services mentioned above.

$500 fee to CHLP for incidental costs such as court filing fees, postage costs, photocopies, etc. Any portion of the $500 fee remaining at the end of the case will be returned to the client.

Clients will be solely responsible for paying any fees required by court appointed attorneys, medical and other experts, or other potential costs.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: An affidavit regarding income and assets and statements from two physicians, psychologists or other medical professionals who have examined the person within 30 days of filing with the court are required. CHLP will also need to review existing legal documents, such as powers of attorney and medical directives. CHLP attorneys will need to meet with the person(s) applying to be guardian(s) as well as the person to be subject to guardianship (separately in most cases).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Erika Kerber at ekerber@chlp.org or Susan Eisenhauer at seisenhauer@chlp.org or call 973-275-1175.