Hugh T. Farley

May 01, 2013

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R - Schenectady) announced the New York State Senate recently gave final passage to a bill that would help make it easier and less expensive for legal guardians caring for the elderly or other relatives living out-of-state to carry out their responsibilities.

The measure (S2534) assists New Yorkers caring for adults in other states, as well as out-of-state individuals caring for elderly New Yorkers when they seek approval to fulfill health care, financial, and other legal responsibilities across state lines. It would create a registration form that would be used uniformly by participating states and replace a costly legal process that often required guardians to hire lawyers.

If signed into law, New York would become the 37th state to adopt a uniform standard for out-of-state legal guardianship of the elderly.

Specifically, the bill, which is supported by the AARP, would:

* Make it easier to enforce protective and guardianship orders by authorizing guardians or conservators to register their New York orders in other states;

* Create a process to transfer a guardianship or conservatorship to another state and for accepting a transfer. This would help eliminate the expense and delay of starting a new proceeding;

* Establish a process to determine which state has jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or conservator if there is a conflict; and

* Protect the elderly from abuse and "granny snatching" by preventing someone from wrongfully taking control and assets from an elder, taking the elder across state lines and being named a guardian. In these situations, courts could decline the guardianship due to unjustifiable conduct and penalize abusers.

The bill will be sent to the Governor for his consideration for signing it into law.