Sometimes a guardianship must be put in place when a young person reaches adulthood and has severe disabilities that impede their capability to manage their financial or personal affairs. Sometimes a capable adult who never signed any Power of Attorney suffers a severe and traumatic brain injury, and a guardianship is urgently needed to ensure financial protection or arrange for necessary medical care.
In both of these situations, the person’s capability may improve over time. Young adults who have intellectual developmental disabilities will mature and will likely acquire new information and new skills as their supported exposure to the world expands. The person who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) may begin to recover their ability to reason, to speak, to remember & apply information, and to make decisions.
The Guardian as well as the person under guardianship can petition the Court for a full or partial restoration of legal capacity and legal rights. The statute is at NJSA 3B:12-28. Cases for restoration of capacity have been brought in the NJ courts since as early as 1843. The process requires filing a Verified Complaint supported by current evidence and physicians’ evaluations which provide detail about the person’s capabilities. If the petition is appointed by the Guardian, the Court will generally appoint a lawyer to represent the person under guardianship, and if it’s filed by the person under guardianship, will appoint a guardian ad litem to report to the Court on whether restoration of capacity would be in the person’s best interests. Notice must be given to the next of kin.
Restoration is a joyous opportunity for a person with disabilities. Call us to discuss your particular situation …. 732-382-6070