Guardianship Support / Guardianship Monitoring Program

Older couple; man in wheelchair with woman

Court appointed legal guardians make decisions for incapacitated people about personal and medical care, meals, transportation, and even where a person lives. Guardians control assets, manage budgets, pay debts, and make all financial and investment decisions for the people they assist.

“Census data and health care experts tell us that the population of elderly and disabled Americans will grow dramatically in coming years. We must take steps now to meet the increased need for protection with an enhanced level of oversight of legal guardians." - Chief Justice Stuart Rabner

Government is responsible for ensuring that guardians understand the significant authority and responsibility of guardianship, and for monitoring the health and well-being along with the finances of every incapacitated person under the care of a legal guardian. It is the only way to eliminate opportunities for abuse. The New Jersey Judiciary provides guardianship support through its Guardian Essentials and the Guardianship Monitoring Program.

Guardian Essentials

Instructions and guidance for prospective and appointed guardians concerning the duties of guardianship.

Guardianship Monitoring Program

The Guardianship Monitoring Program (GMP) provides an ongoing relationship between guardians and the court in support of the best interests of incapacitated individuals. Volunteers supplement limited government resources.

Program Overview

  • The New Jersey Judiciary Guardianship Monitoring Program (GMP) is a comprehensive statewide volunteer-based court program established to monitor guardians in their handling of the affairs of incapacitated individuals, including elderly and developmentally disabled adults. The GMP monitors guardianship cases to ensure that guardians of incapacitated persons are performing their duties appropriately. Monitoring and oversight of guardianships helps identify, address, prevent, and deter activities that are harmful to incapacitated individuals.

    Trained GMP volunteers use the Guardianship Monitoring System (GMS), a computer application comprised of a statewide guardianship database and a report review tool, to track and follow up on guardianship files. The volunteers’ work ensures that guardians comply with statutory and court-ordered requirements to file documents and reports and manage the affairs of incapacitated individuals effectively.

  • Guardianship Monitoring Program Brochure

Volunteer Opportunities

Information for Prospective Volunteers

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Guardianship monitoring provides a two-way relationship between guardians and the court to act in the best interests of incapacitated individuals. It is a natural extension of the role of the court to protect those who are legally unable to act on their own behalf. It is also supported by New Jersey law.

    Most guardians are caring family members or friends devoted to the care and well-being of incapacitated individuals. However, a small percentage of guardians have engaged in documented cases of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of incapacitated persons.

    As New Jersey’s populations of aging adults and individuals with disabilities increase, the number of guardianships also is expected to increase. Unfortunately, this could result in increased opportunities for abuse, neglect, and exploitation by guardians.

    Although several New Jersey surrogates’ offices maintain county-based volunteer guardianship monitoring programs, the need for guardianship monitoring exists statewide. The New Jersey Judiciary has responded to this need by establishing the GMP.

  • The goal of the GMP is to safeguard and reduce the potential for abuse and exploitation of incapacitated individuals by their guardians. The program is committed to helping ensure that these vulnerable members of society are treated with dignity and respect, while also assisting guardians in their sometimes difficult role.

  • The GMP monitors guardianship cases to ensure that guardians of incapacitated persons are performing their duties appropriately. Monitoring and oversight of guardianships helps identify, address, prevent, and deter activities that are harmful to incapacitated individuals.

    Trained GMP volunteers use the Guardianship Monitoring System (GMS), a computer application comprised of a statewide guardianship database and a report review tool, to track and follow up on guardianship files. The volunteers’ work ensures that guardians comply with statutory and court-ordered requirements to file documents and reports and manage the affairs of incapacitated individuals effectively.