In the United States each state has developed its own distinct system of protecting adults who need the assistance of a guardian. The multiplicity of potential state jurisdictions means that confusing issues and conflicts frequently arise when an incapacitated person has some presence in more than one state.
There is a path to simplifying the multi-state issues that arise when an adult needs a guardian. The Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) has been enacted in a majority of states (but not in Pennsylvania as of May 5, 2012). UAGPPJA addresses the many problems relating to multiple jurisdiction, transfer, and out of state recognition. It establishes a roadmap for communication, uniformity and reciprocity between states. It includes a requirement to recognize guardianship decisions that occur in a different state and provides direction on how courts should handle guardianship cases that span state boundary lines. But it can only work when all the states involved have adopted the uniform law.
Now Pennsylvania appears poised to enact UAGPPJA. House Bill 1720 will adopt the uniform jurisdiction law in Pennsylvania. It passed the House by a unanimous vote (196-0) on October 26, 2011. The bill is now awaiting concurrence by the Pennsylvania Senate.
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Pennyslvania Poised to Adopt Uniform Guardianship Jurisdication Legislation
House Bill 1720
Uniform Law Commission