Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court initiated a Guardianship Tracking System statewide in 2018. Monroe County Court of Common Pleas went online with the system in late October. The GTS is designed for those individuals appointed as a guardian of the person and estate of an incapacitated person to file statutorily-mandated reports with the Clerk of Courts for review by the court.
A court can appoint a guardian after hearing where testimony and evidence establishes that an individual meets the statutory criteria for a finding of incapacity. The legal definition of an “incapacitated person” under 20 PA. C.S. §5502 is “an adult whose ability to receive and evaluate information effectively and communicate decisions in any way is impaired to such a significant extent that he is partially or totally unable to manage his financial resources or to meet essential requirements for his physical health and safety.”
A guardian of the estate makes financial decision and a guardian of the person makes health care and placement decisions. The same person may serve as guardian of both person and estate. It’s important to note that a guardian is appointed where an individual has not executed a power of attorney or who has, but the named agent is unable or unwilling to act for some reason.
Once a guardian of the estate is appointed by the court, that guardian must file an inventory within 90 days of the order appointing the guardian identifying all assets of the incapacitated person. With the GTS, the inventory can be filed online. On the anniversary of the order appointing the guardian of the estate, an annual report is filed listing all income and expenses of the incapacitated person over the prior year and stating whether there has been any change in the assets reported in the inventory, such as the sale of an asset, or an asset acquired after the filing of the inventory. Similarly, the guardian of the person must file an annual report summarizing the medical condition of the incapacitated person and indicating how many times the guardian has seen the incapacitated person over the prior year and the duration of the visits. These annual reports are required to be filed every year thereafter.
In the past, the form reports were filed in paper format with the Clerk of Courts. Now, those reports are filed online through the GTS. Although guardians can still file paper reports, the Clerk of Courts charges a fee of $50 per report. There is no charge for filing reports through the GTS.
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Guardianship Tracking System now online