In our increasingly mobile society, adult guardianships often involve more than one state, raising complex multi-jurisdictional issues.
We have legal theories for resolving these civil procedure puzzles on a case-by-case basis (as demonstrated in the Morrison case), but the best long-term solution is adoption of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA), which has pretty much been endorsed by just about every organization that might possibly have an interest in the issue, including the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, the AARP, the National College of Probate Judges, the National Guardianship Foundation, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Alzheimer’s Association.
As the senior citizen capital of the U.S., Florida should lead on this issue, not lag behind.
As reported in a Legislative Staff Analysis for a 2021 bill focused on Florida’s seniors: “Florida has long been a destination state for senior citizens and has the highest percentage of senior residents in the entire nation. In 2018, Florida had an estimated 4.3 million people age 65 and older, approximately 20 percent of the state’s population. By 2030, this number is projected to increase to 5.9 million, meaning the elderly will make up approximately one quarter of the state’s population and will account for most of the state’s growth.”
And as of 2021, every state and territory in the U.S. has adopted the UAGPPJA — except for four. Unfortunately, Florida is one of those outliers! That’s a problem; we have the highest percentage of senior residents in the entire nation. Florida should be leading the charge on this front, not lagging behind.
Florida’s legislative efforts.
For what it’s worth, I’ve advocated for Florida’s adoption of the UAGPPJA since 2009, when legislation adopting the uniform act was introduced, then inexplicably withdrawn. Over a decade later there’s another push for adoption of the uniform act as part of Florida’s 2022 legislative session. Hopefully this time our legislators will get it done.
ABA Commission on Law and Aging Resource Page.
By the way, the folks over at the ABA Commission on Law and Aging really deserve special credit for being all in on the UAGPPJA. They’ve set up a resource page dedicated solely to advocating for this legislation that’s jam packed with useful information. Here’s a sample:
- Description of ABA Commission on Law and Aging Advocacy for Uniform Guardianship Jurisdiction
- Nine Ways to Reduce Elder Abuse Through Enactment of the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act
- Reported Cases on Multi-state Guardianship Jurisdiction Issues Supporting Need for the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) (as of 8/14)
- Multi-State Guardianship Jurisdiction Stories Supporting Need for the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) (as of 6/09)