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  • NJ A813
  • Establishes guardianship monitoring program in Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/VetoedVeto Overridden
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill establishes a guardianship monitoring program within the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults. Under current law, if a court finds that a person is unable to govern himself or manage his affairs, the court may make a determination that the person is incapacitated and appoint a guardian to exercise all rights and powers of the incapacitated person. Unless relieved of doing so by the court, a guardian must furnish a bond in accordance with N.J.S.3B:15-1 et seq. In addition, pursuant to N.J.S.3B:12-42, a guardian must report on the condition of the person and the condition of the property of the person for whom the guardian has been appointed, unless the court waives this requirement. The guardian must report at time intervals established by the court or Surrogate, which is most often on a yearly basis. The guardian may be required to report on the person's well-being, an inventory of the person's property, and an accounting of the person's estate. The periodic reports must be filed with the Surrogate and must be served on all interested parties. An interested party includes the nearest of kin of the incapacitated person, any agent appointed pursuant to a power of attorney or advance directive, the director of a residential care facility having custody of the incapacitated person, and an attorney appointed for the incapacitated person in the guardianship action. P.L.1985, c.298 (C.52:27G-20 et seq.), which established the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults, provides for guardianship services to be provided to elderly persons when private guardianship is not feasible. Under the statutes setting out the powers and duties of the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults, an elderly adult is defined as a person aged 60 years or older. Pursuant to 2010 census data, New Jersey had the 10th highest population of elderly individuals, with the elderly population increasing 15 percent during the period from 2000 to 2010. Due to the volume of adult guardianship cases, some reports submitted by court-appointed guardians may not be thoroughly reviewed, allowing abuse to go undetected. These periodic reports can provide key information as to whether a guardian is abusing, neglecting or exploiting an elderly person. While most guardians are family members and friends who are dedicated to the care of the individual for whom they are responsible, there have been a number of documented cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation of elderly adults by their guardians. It is the sponsor's belief that the guardianship monitoring program will help provide protection for those individuals. Under the bill, the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults is designated as an "interested party" that must be served with the periodic reports that must be filed by a court-appointed guardian. The bill provides for review of these reports and accompanying documentation through the guardianship monitoring program.
Health and Senior Services
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified