Mom lives in Arkansas, is having problems, and you live in another state. If mom planned well and signed a power of attorney, then you can work it out with mom. If there is no power of attorney or if mom being exploited, then it might be time to consider a guardianship. A guardianship is a court monitored arrangement in which someone is legally responsible for an adult.
Once the guardianship is established, it might be necessary for mom to move. Perhaps the move is to be closer to family or away from an abusive, exploitive, or dangerous environment. Once mom is in another state, it is impossible for the Arkansas legal system to adequately monitor the guardianship. Arkansas enacted the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Action (UAGPPJA) in 2011. Uniform laws are proposed for all states to adopt as written to promote uniformity of laws from state to state. See http://uniformlaws.org/home. Although uniformity is the goal, the laws are often altered by the states when enacted.
The Arkansas’ version of the UAGPPJA requires a petition to move the guardianship. A hearing may be necessary. A provisional order allowing the move is issued. A.C.A. 28-74-301. The judge in the new state (assuming that it has also enacted the UAGPPJA) must accept the guardianship. A.C.A. 28-74-302. A hearing may also be required in the new state. Upon the issuance of a provisional order of acceptance in the new state, the Arkansas judge will issue a final order of transfer. The new state can then issue a final order of acceptance. Arkansas guardianship is now closed with a final accounting, petition, and order.
Although transferring a guardianship is a multi-step process, it is required so that the legal system can adequately protect mom. In the end, taking care of mom is all that matters.
Karen Reagler is an estate planning attorney practicing in Hot Springs and Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. She can be found at work and available to answer to your questions. Call today. 501-609-9800