Uniform Adult Guardianship And Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act

The Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceeding Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) has been endorsed by the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is scheduled for introduction in the state legislature for consideration and possible adoption.

The Act addresses the issue of jurisdiction over adult guardianships, conservatorships, and other protective proceedings, providing a mechanism for resolving multi-state jurisdictional disputes. It contains specific guidelines to identify the appropriate court with jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated adult. The objective is that only one state will have jurisdiction at one time.

Currently, there is no state law governing the jurisdiction, transfer and enforcement of adult guardianships and protective proceedings. This area of law is governed primarily by decided court cases. The UAGPPJA will provide uniformity and reduce conflicts among the states. Because of the current absence of ways to resolve these typical interstate jurisdictional quandaries, widespread passage of the act throughout the United States should result in significant judicial economy, reduction in litigation, and conservation of the ward’s estate. The UAGPPJA will also help save time for those who are serving as guardians and conservators, allowing them to make important decisions for their loved ones as quickly as possible.

Further, the UAGPPJA seeks to address the problem of multiple jurisdictions by creating a process for determining which state will have jurisdiction to appoint a guardian or conservator if there is a conflict by designating that individual’s “home state” has primary jurisdiction, followed by a state in which the individual has a “significant-connection.” Additionally, the bill solves the problem of transferring a guardianship or conservatorship to another state and for accepting a transfer. The bill addresses the problem of out-of-state recognition and enforcement of guardianship and protective orders in other states by authorizing a guardian or conservator to register these orders in other states. The bill addresses emergency situations and other special cases. Finally, the UAGPPJA facilitates communication and cooperation between courts of different jurisdictions.

The bill was completed by the Uniform Law Commission and has been adopted in Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Utah, the District of Columbia, and Missouri. The bill is pending introduction in approximately 25 states. In addition, the following organizations support the bill:

New Jersey State Bar Association
New Jersey Guardianship Association

American Bar Association
National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
National Association of College of Probate Judges
National Association of Guardianship Association
Conference of Chief Justices
Conference of State Court Administrators
Alzheimer’s Association

The Act is attached here – uniform-guardianship-act