Hennessey Adult Guardianship Legislation Passed in House
HARRISBURG – Legislation that could add Pennsylvania to the list of states that has adopted a uniform law dealing with adult guardianships and protective proceedings was unanimously passed by the House Wednesday, said Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester), chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee.

“This legislation is an effort to bring Pennsylvania law in line with 29 other states that have taken action to help seniors and others be protected from personal and property abuse,” said Hennessey. “This is an important bill that can help bring some peace of mind for seniors and for those who are their appointed guardians when an emergency happens in another state. I am pleased by the unanimous bipartisan support this bill received and look forward to consideration in the Senate.”

House Bill 1720 recommends the Pennsylvania enactment of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, which establishes a consistent law determining which state would have jurisdiction over adult guardianships, conservatorships and other protective proceedings. The act also sets up a system for resolving multi-state disputes.

Hennessey said Pennsylvania’s demographic distinction as one of the top three states in the number of elderly residents is significant, as the act is seen as a deterrent in incidents of elder abuse. The type of abuse that takes place is known as “granny-snatching,” the removal or enticement of a person to another state in order to gain control of over assets or life decisions through forum shopping. The act also permits a court to consider which jurisdiction can best protect a person subject to abuse, aid communications between courts in different states about abuse allegations and transfer cases between states to remove persons from abusive situations.

Hennessey stressed the bill does not alter how the Commonwealth currently determines guardianship or conservatorship, but merely brings Pennsylvania in line with other states that have adopted the law to streamline the transfers of guardianship from one state to another.

State Representative Tim Hennessey
26th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Raymond Smith
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