Hennessey’s Adult Guardianship Legislation Signed by Governor
HARRISBURG – Major legislation authored by Rep. Tim Hennessey (R-Chester), chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, which would bring the Commonwealth in line with 29 other states in dealing with adult guardianships and protective proceedings, was signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett Thursday. Hennessey’s House Bill 1720 is now Act 108 of 2012.

“I’d like to thank Governor Corbett for signing this much-needed proposal into law, because it will help our seniors to prevent the abuse of themselves and their property, and help bring them peace of mind,” said Hennessey. “There was a cooperative effort put into the final legislation, with many individuals and groups having input. I am grateful for all of the hard work put into the new law.”

The new law enacts the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, which sets the ground rules for 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 is one of the top three states in the number of elderly residents. The act is seen as a deterrent to incidents of elder abuse. The most common 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 their assets or life decisions. The act permits a court to consider which jurisdiction can best protect a person from abuse, aids communications between courts in different states about abuse allegations, and allows courts to transfer cases between states in order to remove persons from abusive situations.

Hennessey stressed the law does not alter how the Commonwealth currently determines guardianships or conservatorships, 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
Media Contact: Raymond Smith
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