PA Supreme Court Advisory Council Develops Guidance for Judges Handling Guardianship Cases

Guardianship Benchbook 2020 News

News Article

October 5, 2020

In an effort to help judges navigate the complex issues involved in guardianship cases, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts has published the first edition of the Pennsylvania Guardianship Bench Book.

“Guardianship is a critical legal tool to assist persons with diminished capacity or persons with a disability in managing their affairs. Determinations of whether a guardianship is appropriate, or how to arrive at the least restrictive form of guardianship, involves the striking of a balance between protection and autonomy, and has always been a challenging inquiry,” said Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra Todd.

Serving as a valuable resource for Pennsylvania’s Orphans’ Court judges, the bench book reflects the accumulated wisdom of judges and practitioners who focus on guardianships. It is a comprehensive reference guide that outlines the laws pertaining to guardianships, offers alternatives to guardianships and provides guidance on how to identify and appoint guardians.

Resources such as this bench book supplement the numerous continuing education programs that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court requires all Pennsylvania jurists to complete each year. While these courses cover an extensive range of judicial topics, recent focuses in 2020 have included family law (including divorce and custody), landlord/tenant law and trauma victims in the courtroom.  




Media contact: Stacey Witalec, 717- 877- 2997

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