NJ’s Volunteer "The Guardianship Monitoring Program"

COURT HOUSE – Cape May County Surrogate M. Susan Sheppard endorses the program initiated by New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner on Jan. 30 that calls for volunteers to monitor the well-being of the elderly and disabled who rely on legal guardians to manage their financial and health-related decisions. Surrogate Sheppard said, “Volunteers are the foundation of this initiative – The Guardianship Monitoring Program will enable Attorneys, Accountants, Retired Professionals, Students and others to volunteer to assist and protect our most vulnerable residents. I look forward to developing this program in Cape May County.”

“As a society, we must protect those who are most vulnerable, it is our responsibility to ensure that those who have guardians appointed are well taken care of in Cape May County,” added Surrogate Sheppard. According to Census data, the population of elderly and disabled Americans will grow dramatically in coming years. Surrogate Sheppard stressed, “It is essential that we take steps now to protect those with guardians by increasing and enhancing the level of oversight of legal guardians.”

Surrogate Sheppard said, “Volunteers will work directly in my office and in Surrogate’s offices throughout the state to review guardian files and the annual reports.” Volunteers will receive detailed training from court staff on how to read and analyze the guardians’ annual reports and how to gather data for the new computer system. With the new database, missing or incomplete reports will be easier to identify. Volunteer monitors will flag inconsistent or incomplete financial information, which will be reported to judges for appropriate action.

The program is expected to be statewide by November 2013.

Full Article and Source:
Sheppard Wants Volunteer Guardianship Monitoring Program

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11 Responses to “NJ’s Volunteer "The Guardianship Monitoring Program"”

  1. stewart Says:

    'So I am going to have to see what the law is presented and what facts are presented to justify the exceptions. I need a specific clarification of each one of those exceptions. It needs to be detailed and it needs to have a legal basis behind the exception, not simply the fact that there's an allegation in the exception that the document went to Mr. Mecca and his client in an unwieldy, unorganized basis. That is not the base of an exception.' I wonder if Mz Sheppard is aware what Judge Margaret Mary McVeigh of the Paterson NJ Chancery will be asking of volunteers when three boxes of three thousand receipts are dumped on a table in the above real life example involving $1 Million Dollars, and if Mz Sheppard will have the same threshold to comport with with the courts in Cape May?It seems to me that guardians must be compelled to turn in a real accounting and not a stack of papers?I think this is a fair question. What do you think?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    I want to hear how this program does! I live in St. Pete., Florida, in Pinellas country. They have a court monitor system. They only have one, her name is Sue Landress, she is just a waste of taxpayers money. All Sue Landress does is attend guardianship meetings, and buddy up to the guardians, judges and attorneys, Landress is only concerned with her relationships within the system, not with the care of the ward. Landress actually increases billing for guardians and attorney involved because she calls them constantly for updates and talks for hours. Then makes her report from copying the docket. Landress also has no training for the position, only that she was unemployed at the time they were looking for one. Landress apparently worked for DCF at one time. I think she believes old people are children and should be treated like children. She is incompetent. If this system of oversight works, which I hope it does. I would love to see it start in Florida, we need it desperately!

  3. Finny Says:

    Go New Jersey!

  4. NASGA Says:

    In this day and age of hi-tech capability, it is inexcusable for the States to fail their citizens in their duty as parens patriae. It may be that NJ is the first state to do something meaningful about monitoring and oversight of runaway guardianships! Using volunteers, not on the dole, will go a long way to cleaning up the problem and make the law work as intended. Pray that it actually happens!

  5. Thelma Says:

    Yes; hope it happens and that it actually works to stop the stealing!

  6. B Inberg Says:

    Oversight is long overdue. Probate courts are run by the lawyers and the guardianship team.Judges go along with the plan to move cases along quicky and efficiently trusting the so called professionals who take advantage of the system.With the Baby Boomers coming up as the next group headed for the probate courts now is better than never although it's way too late for those who went before us.My parents took care of their parents there wasn't any guardianships or problems, family taking care of family, gee how novel is that?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Bad Bad Bad Attorneys monitoring attorneys they will be dragging families in to take guardianships away by questioning items but they will say the attorneys and social services fees are justified,

  8. Luis Says:

    Anonymous – The volunteers are not being paid.Are you suggestingi that the Bad Boys will set up pro bono lawyer vols to okay everything?

  9. Anonymous Says:

    It will be attorneys monitoring the system ……. how many report ethics violations. Just because they are volunteers does not mean they mean well ………. they can pass work on to their firms or other friendsThis is as bad as it gets ….. volunteers should not be overseeing these cases …… the government strips individuals of all their rights and they do not protect the vulnerable so maybe guardianship is one big fraud.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    It will be attorneys monitoring the system ……. how many report ethics violations. Just because they are volunteers does not mean they mean well ………. they can pass work on to their firms or other friendsThis is as bad as it gets ….. volunteers should not be overseeing these cases …… the government strips individuals of all their rights and they do not protect the vulnerable so maybe guardianship is one big fraud.

  11. stewart Says:

    FYI-No response to date from Mz Sheppard as to whether Mz Sheppard will administrate the proposed volunteer program to the McVeigh standard?

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