By Haley Viccaro, Albany Bureau
ALBANY, NY-- The American Association of Retired Persons is urging state lawmakers to pass a bill that would make it easier and cheaper for New Yorkers to care for elderly relatives located in another state.
Sen. Kemp Hannon, R-Nassau County, said during a news conference Tuesday that his chamber is expected to pass the bill, which would simplify the process for individuals who act as legal guardians to family members across state lines.
"Right now, if somebody has a guardianship and goes to another state, you have to go through the process all over again," said Hannon, who is also chairman of the Senate Health Committee. "It's the same as if you come in to New York or if you go to another state."
New York would become the 37th state to adopt the measure. Current law dictates that state residents comply with other states' court systems for elderly care.
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, D-Brooklyn, said New Yorkers often move to another state while their parents remain home, needing help with health-care management.
"It allows the guardianship to travel with the individual instead of a new procedure having to be started," Weinstein said. "It is one of these proposals that makes so much common sense, you kind of wonder why we haven't had this in place before."
AARP said it is pushing the measure nationwide in order to create a uniform standard that allows individuals to file a registration form in other states where their relatives live.
The bill would create a procedure to transfer guardianship to another state and eliminate the expense of new proceedings. AARP said the individual's home state would have primary jurisdiction.
"It can be costly and time-consuming to help parents across state lines," an AARP representative said. "Remove the red-tape and make it easier for New Yorkers who care for their parents who have moved."
If the bill becomes law, New York would be the largest state in the nation to adopt the measure.