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Guardianship in Pennsylvania

Treatises and Practice Aids

The following resources are freely available online and include information and sample forms for guardianship of incapacitated persons.

Guardianship Benchbook The Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts
"This Judicial Bench Book is intended to give Pennsylvania courts a road map for reviewing petitions, appointing counsel, conducting pre-trial proceedings, conducting the trial on the Petition for Adjudication of Incapacity and Appointment of Guardians, conducting post-trial proceedings, and monitoring court-appointed guardians. Throughout this book we strive to provide helpful tips and best practices, based upon experience, to enable courts to protect the fundamental constitutional rights of individuals who are alleged to be incapacitated, while promoting efficient and effective practices." (p.1)
"Note that this Bench Book concerns guardianships of adults (over age 18) determined or alleged to be incapacitated and does not address guardianships of minor children." (p.i)

See Appendix I (p.xi): Required Guardianship Forms and other Sample Guardianship Forms.

Manual for Guardians of Incapacitated Persons Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Orphans' Court Division
From Brochures & Manuals, see Court of Common Pleas - Orphans' Division > Manual for Guardians of Incapacitated Persons.
"In this manual you will find the law of guardianship in Philadelphia County with an explanation of how and when a guardian is appointed." (p.2) Includes select forms and sample decrees.

Pennsylvania Guardian Handbook Office of Elder Justice in the Courts 
The handbook covers various topics of and relating to guardianship in Pennsylvania. It includes an overview of guardianship with more detailed information in later sections for the role as a guardian and/or guardian of an estate. Some additional topics include varying guardianship situations, elder abuse and exploitation, and the online Guardianship Tracking System (GTS). The handbook also includes a glossary and links to forms/additional resources.

The following member databases include sample forms and information for guardianship in Pennsylvania. Members must be logged in to to access these databases. These databases are also available in the library.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. See "Guardian and Ward" (vol. 26).
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

PA Legal Forms
Includes a variety of forms on guardianship, including "Petition for Appointment of Conservator or Legal Guardian of Person and Estate of Adult who Physical or Mental Infirmity or Age, is Unable to Handle Affairs", "Petition for Notice to Minor to Nominate or Select Guardian", and "Temporary Guardianship Agreement". To find relevant forms, conduct a search for guardian. Forms can also be found in the Family Law category.

The following print resources include information regarding guardianship in Pennsylvania. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers.
See Chapter 68: Uniform Transfer to Minors Act; Designation of Custodian, Chapter 79: Minors, and Chapter 80: Incapacitated Persons.

Partridge-Remick Practice and Procedure in the Orphan's Court Division, Court of Common Pleas of Pennsylvania LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers (as Remick's Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Practice).
See Chapter XXXVI: Guardians: Persons and Estates of Minors, Chapter XXXVII: Guardians: Persons and Estates of Incompetents, and Chapter LVII (located in vol.2 of the Cumulative Supplement): Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers and on the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Guardian and Ward". Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Commonplace Book Bisel
Also referred to as Hunter's. See "Guardian and Ward" and "Incapacitated Persons". Library also has previous edition: see all.

Pennsylvania Special Needs Planning Guide: A Handbook for Attorneys and Trustees of Special Needs Trusts Bisel
See Chapter 11: Guardianships.

Pennsylvania Transaction Guide: Legal Forms LexisNexis
Also available on the library's Lexis computers. Also referred to as Bongiovanni.
See Chapter 82: Testamentary Guardians.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 163: Minors' Property, Custodianship, and Guardianship, and Chapter 164: Incapacitated Persons' Property and Guardianship. Library also has previous edition: see all.

Summary of Pennsylvania Jurisprudence 2d West
Also available on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Probate, Estates, and Trusts, Part 2: Particular Estates and Administrators, Subpart B: Particular Estates - Estates of Minors (chapters 23-25), and Subpart C, Chapter 26: Guardianship of Incapacitated Person's Property. Library also has previous edition.

In conjunction with its continuing legal education courses, the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) produces many books each year covering various guardianship matters. Some of these concentrate on more specific or unusual areas of the law. When a researcher has difficulty finding an answer in the manuals or form books, it is a good idea to turn to a PBI publication for guidance.

25th Annual Estate Law Institute
See Chapter K: Guardianships of Incapacitated Persons. Includes forms.

Elder Law in Pennsylvania
See Chapter 5: Guardianship. Additional chapters may also be of interest.

Elder Law Institute 2022 (Vol. 2) 
See Chapter K: Guardianship Proposed Legislation.

Elder Law Institute 2019 (22nd Annual)
See Chapter D: Guardianship Update - New Rules and Reporting Requirements and Chapter I: Emergency Guardianships - Process and Procedure.

Estate Law Institute 2019 (26th Annual)
See Chapter DD: Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Rules: Guardianship of Incapacitated Persons.

Estate Planning in Pennsylvania : From A to Z
See page 91: Special Needs Trusts and Medical Planning, Financial and Medical Decision-making, Guardianships. 

Five County Guardianship Practice: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia
Includes forms. Library has previous edition: see all.

Guardianship Practice and Procedure: Here's the Latest
Includes chapters that discuss the Pennsylvania Orphans' Court Rules & Representing the Alleged Incapacitated Person.

Guardianship Practice and Procedure: The Rules Have Changed
Practical Guardianship. Includes forms.

Litigating in Orphans' Court
See Chapter 7: Guardianship Basics and Beyond.

New e-Filing Requirements & Other Guardianship Rules

The Pennsylvania Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act - RUFADAA
See "Estate Planning & Drafting Will/POAs/Trusts/Guardianships".

Your Guide to Elder Law
See Chapter 2: Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person.