Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the nation for the highest population percentage of elders over age 65.
Recognizing this issue, the state’s Supreme Court formed the Elder Law Task Force in 2014, which was tasked with recommending ways to better protect the Commonwealth’s rapidly growing population of elders.
The Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts was established to oversee the implementation of the task force’s many recommendations – one of which was the development of the Guardianship Tracking System (GTS) to monitor guardian activity at a statewide level.
On an even broader scale, GTS will help better protect adults of all ages under guardianship while effectively streamlining the process of filing guardianship annual reports and the inventory. In fact, the GTS was developed by the judiciary to be equally beneficial to all parties involved in the guardianship
process –incapacitated persons, guardians and the courts.
1. The Guardianship Tracking System (GTS) is essentially an e-filing system that incorporates statewide guardianship information and simplifies the guardian filing process of mandated reports.
2. The GTS is to be used by professional and family guardians, judges, court staff, Orphans’ Court clerks and others involved in the guardianship process.
3. The GTS will better protect adults of all ages under guardianship by allowing courts to identify red flags and respond to potential problems immediately.
4. The GTS will benefit guardians by:
- Allowing them to file annual reports and inventory forms online at their convenience
- Sending them automatic reminders about important upcoming filing dates and overdue notices
- Eliminating the potential for mathematical errors in their filings
5. The GTS integrates guardian information into a statewide database rather than separate, individual county databases which will:
- Provide statewide statistical reporting that will generate information about guardianship trends that will help decision makers draft laws and establish procedures to better protect our most vulnerable citizens
- Eliminate the potential for an unsuitable guardian to relocate to another county that has no record of their previous misconduct
6. All counties in Pennsylvania were using the system by the end of 2018.
7. The GTS is a product of the recommendations made by the Elder Law Task Force and was developed by the Office of Elder Justice in the Courts and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts/IT under direction from the Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts.