The court establishing a guardianship in New Jersey has an obligation to ascertain that the guardian, once appointed, is functioning in the best interests of the ward. To assist guardians in the performance of their duties, the New Jersey Judiciary, Surrogates’ Liaison Committee, has published a booklet entitled “Manual for Guardians” which provides an overview of a guardian’s “responsibilities …and what tasks have to be accomplished and who will be of the best assistance … in seeing that the steps are properly completed.” The manual is distributed by the court to every person in New Jersey who is appointed guardian of a ward. The manual contains a “Code of Ethics for Guardians” which provides a succinct statement of the overall duties and responsibilities of guardians in New Jersey. The Code of Ethics provides that guardians appointed by the New Jersey courts shall:

  1. Avoid a conflict or the appearance of a conflict of interest when dealing with the needs of the ward;
  2. Attempt to maximize the dignity, autonomy, self-reliance and independence of the ward;
  3. Involve the ward, to the extent of the ward’s abilities, in making decisions concerning the ward’s housing, which shall be in the least restrictive environment consistent with the ward’s safety;
  4. Promote and personally monitor the ward’s health and well-being;
  5. Competently manage the ward’s estate consistent with the ward’s best interests;
  6. Exercise extreme care and diligence in making decisions on behalf of the ward;
  7. Exhibit the highest degree of trust and loyalty to the ward; and,
  8. Provide informed consent on behalf of the ward for the provision of care, treatment and services.

The Code of Ethics for Guardians can be found in the Manual for Guardians, here – Manual for Guardians

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