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NJSA 3B:12-74. Designation of standby guardian by parent

3B:12-74. Designation of standby guardian by parent

8. a. When the consent of a parent or legal custodian for the execution of a power of attorney delegating another person to exercise the parents or legal custodians powers is not appropriate or is unavailable pursuant to N.J.S.3B:12-39, the other parent or legal custodian may execute a written statement to designate a standby guardian, as follows:

(1) The parent or legal custodian may choose a standby guardian by means of a written designation that names the standby guardian in the event of the designators death, incapacity or debilitation. The written designation shall reasonably identify the designator, the minor child and the standby guardian.

(2) A written designation pursuant to this section shall be signed by the designator in the presence of two witnesses who shall also sign the designation. Another person may sign the written designation on the parents or legal custodians behalf if the parent or legal custodian is physically unable to do so, provided the designation is signed at the express request of the parent or legal custodian and in the presence of the parent or legal custodian and two witnesses.

(3) The designation shall state the triggering event by which the parent or legal custodian intends the designated standby guardianship of the minor child to be activated.

(4) A parent or legal custodian may designate an alternate standby guardian in the same document, and by the same manner, as the designation of a standby guardian.

b. A designation may, but need not, be in the following form:


I, (name of parent or legal custodian) hereby name (name, home address and telephone number of standby guardian) as designated standby guardian of (name of child(ren)), my child(ren).

By this consent and designation, I am providing that the designated standby guardians authority shall take effect if and when the following event or events occur: (choose as follows):

(1) my attending physician concludes that I am mentally incapacitated, and thus unable to care for my child(ren); or

(2) my attending physician concludes that I am physically debilitated, and thus unable to care for my child(ren), and I consent in writing before two witnesses to the designated standby guardians authority taking effect; or

(3) upon my death.

In the event that the person designated above is unable or unwilling to act as guardian to my child(ren), I hereby name (name, address and telephone number of alternate designated standby guardian), as alternate designated standby guardian of my child(ren).

I understand that this designation will expire six months from the date of this designation, and that the authority of the designated standby guardian, if any, will cease, unless by that date either I or the designated standby guardian petitions the court for appointment as standby guardian pursuant to section 6 of P.L.1995, c.76 (C.3B:12-72).

I hereby authorize that the person designated standby guardian as set forth above shall be provided with a copy of the attending physicians statement.

In the event that I am incapacitated or debilitated and a designated standby guardianship is activated pursuant to this statement, I declare that it is my intention to retain full parental rights to the extent consistent with my condition and, further, that I retain the authority to revoke the designated standby guardianship consistent with my rights herein at any time.

width=32Designators Signature:

Witness Signature:



Witness Signature:



c. Nothing in this section shall be construed to involuntarily deprive any parent of parental rights.

Kenneth Vercammen was the Middlesex County Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year
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Kenneth Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week for litigation and contested Probate hearings.

Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer.

He is chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American Bar Association General Practice Division. He is also Editor of the ABA Estate Planning Probate Committee Newsletter and also the Criminal Law Committee newsletter. Mr. Vercammen is a recipient of the NJSBA- YLD Service to the Bar Award. And past Winner "General Practice Attorney of the Year" from the NJ State Bar Association. He is a 22 year active member of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the ABA Real Property, Probate & Trust Section.

He established the NJlaws website which includes many articles on Elder Law. Mr. Vercammen received his B.S., cum laude, from the University of Scranton and his J.D. from Widener/Delaware Law School, where he was the Case Note Editor of the Delaware Law Forum, a member of the Law Review and the winner of the Delaware Trial Competition.


Edison Adult School -Wills, Elder Law & Probate- 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 [inc Edison TV], 2001, 2000,1999,1998,1997
Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law - NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education/ NJ State Bar ICLE/NJSBA 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1996
Elder Law and Estate Planning- American Bar Association Miami 2007
Elder Law Practice, New Ethical Ideas to Improve Your Practice by Giving Clients What They Want and Need American Bar Association Hawaii 2006
South Plainfield Seniors- New Probate Law 2005, East Brunswick Seniors- New Probate Law 2005
Old Bridge AARP 2002; Guardian Angeles/ Edison 2002; St. Cecilia/ Woodbridge Seniors 2002;
East Brunswick/ Halls Corner 2002;
Linden AARP 2002
Woodbridge Adult School -Wills and Estate Administration -2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
Woodbridge Housing 2001; Metuchen Seniors & Metuchen TV 2001; Frigidare/ Local 401 Edison 2001; Chelsea/ East Brunswick 2001, Village Court/ Edison 2001; Old Bridge Rotary 2001; Sacred Heart/ South Amboy 2001; Livingston Manor/ New Brunswick 2001; Sunrise East Brunswick 2001; Strawberry Hill/ Woodbridge 2001;
Wills and Elder Law - Metuchen Adult School 1999,1997,1996,1995,1994,1993
Clara Barton Senior Citizens- Wills & Elder Law-Edison 2002, 1995
AARP Participating Attorney in Legal Plan for NJ AARP members 1999-2005

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