Saturday, August 20, 2016

Caregiving Across State Lines: 45+ States Pass Law to Help

Imagine you care for your 90-year-old mother with dementia. She lives with you in your Georgia home. You help her with bathing and dressing, drive her to the doctor, cook her meals, manage her medications and do anything else she needs. Last year you were appointed her legal guardian by the state of Georgia to help manage her finances and make decisions for her about health care and more.

Your mother needs a special heart procedure, only available in a hospital in Florida, meaning you’ll have to cross state lines. The problem is, the Florida hospital may not accept guardianship orders from other states and is unable to treat your mother without authority from a Florida court. Now, as your mother’s health deteriorates, you have to desperately file for an expensive legal proceeding just so your mother can get the care she needs.

For some caregivers, the possibility of this hypothetical life-threatening situation is very real.

While every caregiving situation is different, many Americans care for their loved ones across state lines every day — and the law should be on their side, with consistent rules about state jurisdiction to make it easier.

The good news is, 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have already passed the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdictions Act (UAGPPJA), a law to support family caregivers serving as guardians as they care for their parents, spouses and other loved ones across state lines. This includes Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina, where this important act was signed into law in 2016.

This law ensures scenarios like the one I outlined don’t happen, and provide more protections, by:
  1. Outlining a set of rules for streamlining the transfer of guardianship from one state to another
  2. Allowing states to recognize and register guardianship orders from other states
  3. Creating a clear process for determining jurisdiction by designating which state should hear a request for guardianship when more than one state is involved
  4. Protecting seniors by giving the court information and authority to act on abuse and exploitation

Full Article & Source:
Caregiving Across State Lines: 45+ States Pass Law to Help


Cassie said...

The procedures should be streamlined. Yet there will be guardians who abuse the procedure too. I do think this law will help.

Sherry Johnston said...

This law sounds so helpful but in reality it is a trap to make it impossible to stay out of guardianship. We all know that a Power of Attorney is accepted anywhere in in America. This There are only a few states left that has not joined. If a guardianship can be transferred by a Attorney or Certified professional guardian. Unified Guardianship opens the door for the courts to be able to transfer your guardianship or for another state to file for guardianship over your love one. This is being played out with a man in Houston Texas (Harris COunty) that is in a illegal guardianship that has all rights to vote, hire an attorney, and live anywhere he wants and he left the total control of his attorney guardian and went to another state to escape the abuse of abusive guardianships. The Uniform Guardianship Code strips the family of protection and opens the doors of every probate judge, corporation,doctor, attorneys to exploit the family. Before endorsing a Uniform Code you must learn about who is pushing our politicians to pass this terrible code