Democratic Senator Bob Casey and Republican Senator Susan Collins introduced The Guardianship Accountability Act Wednesday.
The legislation would require states to report guardianship arrangements and implement a universal background check for guardians.
Both Casey and Collins believe the current system is failing those in need.
“This is simply unacceptable,” Senator Casey said.
Here in New York State, attorney Rick Marchese represents people petitioning the court to have a guardian named for a loved one.
“It could be a sister who is petitioning the court to have a guardian for her brother or a husband who is petitioning the court to be named guardian for his wife,” he explained.
He said New York State’s laws offer more protections than many other states, but the process can be complicated, leaving many without a family member willing to step up.
“The court would appoint Lifespan or Catholic Family Center as guardian, usually when there are no family members or family members willing,” he said.
He said local organizations can get overwhelmed, too.
“It’s hard for them to dedicate all the time they can to these individual cases.”
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