Excellent news! Massachusetts is one step closer to joining 38 other states in passing the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA), and adopting a model set of rules to make it easier for family caregivers to provide care across state lines.
“Thanks to the leadership of Senator Gale Candaras, Senate President Therese Murray and the unanimous support of the Massachusetts Senate, Massachusetts has made significant progress on the passage of the UAGPPJA to provide uniformity and reduce jurisdictional conflicts with other states,” said Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts State Director.
If passed, it would designate that the individual’s “home state” has primary jurisdiction, followed by a state in which the individual has a “significant connection,” thereby creating a clear process for determining which state has jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or conservator if there is a conflict.
The Uniform Act will help save time and money for guardians and conservators, allowing them to make important decisions for their loved ones as quickly as possible.”
— Mike Festa, AARP Massachusetts State Director
When someone is incapable of managing his or her personal decisions or property, a court may appoint a guardian to make decisions on their behalf. These decisions can be related to personal property, medical care, living arrangements, and financial issues. As a judicial proceeding, guardianship orders can be expensive, time-consuming and complex, but also can help prevent elder abuse and financial exploitation.
If more than one state is involved in a guardianship case, families can be caught in jurisdictional tangles. The solution is a simple set of jurisdictional rules to which all states can agree.
The Uniform Act outlines a procedure for transferring a guardianship or conservatorship to another state and for accepting a transfer, helping to eliminate the expense and wait. UAGPPJA helps to facilitate enforcement of guardianship and protective orders from other states by authorizing registration in Massachusetts.
“AARP strongly supports the passage of the UAGPPJA in Massachusetts to provide uniformity and reduce jurisdictional conflicts with other states. The Uniform Act will help save time and money for guardians and conservators, allowing them to make important decisions for their loved ones as quickly as possible,” said Festa.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.