Guardianship in New Jersey

A short presentation of guardianship estimates based on data from national surveys, local Surrogate Office filings, and other sources

Thousands of adults are under guardianship in New Jersey

Most are family guardianships, however hundreds of adults are in public or volunteer guardianships, or may be at risk of unrepresentation

In the last ten years, the number of guardianship filings in New Jersey has increased by 23%. Similarly, public guardianships, which are appointed when an incapacitated person has no one willing to provide care or make healthcare decisions on their behalf, have increased 54% to over 400 per year since 2005. It is estimated that an additional  3% of incapacitated adults in New Jersey nursing homes, approximately 2,000 adults, do not have adequate representation.

Volunteer Guardianship One-on-One provies a model for guardianship of the unbefriended, incapacitated elderly population in Hunterdon, Somerset, and Warren Counties.  We are expanding our service to meet the changes in demographics and population health status in these counties. Additionally, we seek to educate our community on topics relevant to adults in guardianship or at risk of guardianship, and to those who care for these adults.

Slider Sources
Uekert, B. K. (2011). Adult Guardianships: A "Best Guess" National Estimate and the Momentum for Reform 6.
Administrative Office of the Courts 2013, by request.
Office of the Public Guardian 2013, by request.
State of New Jersey. (2014). The Governor's FY2014 Budget. New Jersey: Retrieved from
Kaiser Family Foundation. (2014). State Health Facts. Total Number of Residents in Certified Nursing Facilities. Retrieved 3/17/2014, 2014, from
Pope, T. M. (2013). Making Medical Decisions for Patients without Surrogates. New England Journal of Medicine, 369(21), 1976-1978.
NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development. (2012). Population & Labor Force Projections. Trenton, NJ: NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development Retrieved from
National Center for Health Statistics. (2013). Alzheimer's Disease, Related Disorders, or Senile Dementia Medicare beneficiaries (count). Retrieved 01/03/2014, 2014, from