Guardianship can be an important legal tool to help family members care for a loved one who is unable to make his or her own decisions due to an illness or disability. Guardianship is determined in state court proceedings. However, when moving to another state, the question often arises whether it is necessary to transfer the guardianship to the new state or begin new guardianship proceedings.
The necessary legal action in a particular case depends on your individual circumstances, including the type of guardianship in question, the state you are moving from, and the state you are moving to. You should consult with an experienced elder law attorney or special needs attorney in both the state you are moving from and the state you are moving to, in order to determine what is needed in your case. However, some general information is presented here.
In many cases, transferring the guardianship to the new state will be desirable or even necessary. Facilities such as nursing homes, group homes and assisted living facilities may insist that a guardianship be authorized by the state where they are located. However, in most cases, the process should not be complicated. That is because 44 states, including New York, have adopted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA), which provides that the substantive findings of the original state in a guardianship proceeding be adopted by the new state, streamlining the transfer process.
If you are transferring a guardianship from or to a non-UAGPPJA state, the process can be significantly more complicated. A new guardianship proceeding may be required in the new state, and there may even be a court process required in the original state before moving the ward out of the original state.
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