Ronald Fatoullah & Associates - Elder Law

Legislature Passes Out-Of-State Guardianship Measure


As posted on April 30, 2013 by Rick Karlin, Capitol Bureau in AARP

"In today's mobile society, families often have connections in many states. In some families, a loved one may need the help of a guardian if no advance planning options are in place. But because guardianship is handled in state courts and each state has its own laws and procedures, families can get caught in jurisdictional tangles that can cost a lot of money, delay good care, aggravate family disputes, and open the door for elder abuse.

The Solution is a simple set of jurisdictional rules to which all states can agree.

The Assembly had already passed it and the Senate passed a measure earlier today that supporters such as AARP would make it easier for people to act as guardians for their elderly parents, even if they don't live in New York.

Here are the details from AARP.

New Yorkers would be able to avoid costly and time‐consuming red tape in exercising health care, financial and other legal responsibilities for their out of state, elderly parents under a bill that received final legislative passage today.

New York would be the 37 state (plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia) to adopt what AARP is working to make a uniform standard across the nation allowing guardians to file a simple registration form in other states where their elderly parents may live.

Under current law, guardians who live in New York must hire lawyers to help them navigate other states' court systems to receive approval to exercise their responsibilities ‐ after they've already obtained such legal orders in New York.

The Senate gave final legislative passage today to the common‐sense bill sponsored by Senate Health Committee Chairman Kemp Hannon and Assemble Judiciary Committee Chair Helene Weinstein (S2534/A857). The bill passed the Assembly unanimously on April 22.Senator Hannon and Assembly woman Weinstein joined AARP in New York at a press conference today in the Legislative Office Building to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act.

The Act:

Makes it easier to enforce guardianship and protective orders by authorizing guardians or conservators to register their New York orders in other states.

  • Establishes a procedure for transferring a guardianship or conservatorship to another state and for accepting a transfer, helping to eliminate the expense and wait of initiating a separate new proceeding.
  • Creates a clear process for determining which state has jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or conservator if there is a conflict. That court in the individual's "home state" would be the one to hear a case followed by a state in which the individual has a" significant connection."
  • Reduces elder abuse by barring someone who wrongfully seeks control or assets of an elder (or anyone else) from taking a person across state lines and immediately being named guardian. A court could refuse to hear the case of "unjustifiable conduct" and penalize perpetrators.
  • The New York law is part of AARP's national fight to focus on care, not courts, by removing the barriers that prevent caregivers from providing for their loved ones, regardless of where the loved ones live.

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