By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Guardianship Attorney

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series we reviewed New Jersey statutes regarding the role of a guardian of an incapacitated person, as well as his/her legal authority when serving in this role. In this 3rd and final part of the series we will conclude our conversation around these statutes.

N.J.S.A. 3B:12-23(x) grants a fiduciary (this includes a guardian) the conditional authority to employ accountants and other professionals, at the expense of the estate, without reducing commissions. Whether professional fees are chargeable depends on the skills needed and background of the fiduciary and the nature of the professional services. Fees are chargeable:

so long as such accountings are not the usual, customary, or routine services provided by the fiduciary in light of the nature and skill of the fiduciary. In evaluating the actions of the fiduciary under this subsection, a court considers the size and complexity of the fiduciary fund, the length of time for which the accounting is rendered, and the increased risk and responsibilities imposed on fiduciaries as a result of revisions to laws affecting fiduciaries.

N.J.S.A. 3B:14-23(x) requires a court to perform a case-specific evaluation of the enumerated factors. In particular, charges are not permitted for services that would be “usual, customary or routine” for the particular guardian, given the nature and skills of that fiduciary.

To discuss your NJ Guardianship matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.