Standby Guardianship in NJ: An Interesting Concept

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a NJ Guardianship Attorney

I recently was reading an article about guardianship that I thought was worth summarizing for my readers.  The article was about a Standby Guardian.  A Standby Guardianship is an individual appointed by a parent for the benefit of his/her child in the event the parent dies, or becomes incapacitated or is unable to care for the child while alive. Think of a Standby Guardian as a person who is “on call,” ready to take over or help with the care of the child or adult disabled. A Standby Guardian is on a temporary basis until a permanent Guardian is appointed by the court.

A Standby Guardian is appointed in a written document signed and notarized by a parent.  It includes the name of the parent, the identity of the child, and the person who will serve as the Guardian.

New Jersey law specifically permits the Designation of the Standby Guardian by the parent.

Impact of a Standby Guardian on the rights of a biological parent
Biological parents have first rights to custody of their children.  In New Jersey today many households are single parent households.  While most marital or divorce agreements almost always address custody of minor children, death will always give first parental rights of custody to the surviving parent.  But if the surviving parent does not want custody; the Standby Guardianship will likely be upheld.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey guardianship matter.  I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns.  You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at