RALEIGH -- AARP North Carolina is urging State Legislators to pass a law already adopted in forty states to recognize adult guardianship orders uniformly across state lines and allow guardians to provide for their loved ones regardless of where they live. State House Bill 817, the Uniform Adult Guardianship Act, would create a simple solution to iron out costly and timely jurisdictional issues for family caregivers.
According to AARP NC Associate State Director Charmaine Fuller Cooper, “We are a mobile society with caregivers frequently providing care across state lines, especially when an aging parent or family member resides in one state and the guardian in another. Different jurisdictions cause a tangled web of legal issues. Family caregiving comes with many duties and this legislation can ease a guardian’s load by saving them time and money while also ensuring monitored care for the individual.”
Court-appointed guardians step into the shoes of at-risk adults who can no longer make their own decisions. They make judgments about property, medical care, living arrangements, lifestyle and financial issues. If more than one state is involved, families can be caught in jurisdictional quagmire 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 rules laid out in model language that all states can agree. This national model is known as the “Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act” or UAGPPJA.
North Carolina is one of a handful of states without a UAGPPJA, which means that it does not recognize guardianship orders from states where the law has been enacted and vice-versa. This can bog down the courts and can be expensive for family members trying to navigate the laws of other states on complex adult guardianship matters.
Fuller Cooper said, “State House Bill 817 is one step towards easing the load that guardians face providing care across state lines and one that legislators should support.”
The bill is backed by a line-up of bill sponsors and supporters including AARP, retired court clerks, social workers and disabilities advocates. Hearings on the bill are expected to begin next week.
CAREGIVERS AND GUARDIANS NEED YOUR HELP!