Forthcoming Papers

Someone's Afoot: Wisconsin's Foreign Guardianship Transfer Law

Kurt M. Simatic


Due to a “grayer” and more mobile population with diminished mental capacities, the subject of interstate guardianships is attracting much-needed attention. In 2006, Wisconsin’s landmark guardianship reform included a process by which guardians and their wards could transfer their guardianships established in other states to Wisconsin. The statutory provisions providing for these “foreign guardianships” were a step in the right direction. However, the reality of transferring foreign guardianships and modifying them to comply with Wisconsin law has proved troublesome.

This Comment will focus on how Wisconsin’s foreign guardianship transfer law developed, the shortcomings in the law that have arisen over time, and possible reforms to the transfer law. A survey of Wisconsin registers in probate is particularly illuminating. Ultimately, Wisconsin legislators should either modify the existing foreign guardianship transfer law, adopt the Uniform Adult Guardianship & Protective Placement Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA) that an overwhelming majority of states have already adopted, or simply reject any transfer law for guardianships and require guardians to file petitions for new guardianships in Wisconsin.