Guardianship - Incapacitated Persons

The Clerk of the Orphans’ Court is the official record keeper of guardianship files, including those for incapacitated persons. There are two guardianship domains – Guardianship of the Person and Guardianship of the Estate. A guardian may be appointed by the court in one or both domains. In some cases, multiple co-guardians may be appointed.

Guardians of the Person have the responsibility to assert the rights and best interests of the Incapacitated Person. Guardians of the Person have a general responsibility to protect the health and welfare of the Incapacitated Person. This may include selecting a residence, overseeing general care and maintenance, arranging, and authorizing medical care, psychological services, arranging social and vocational opportunities, and filing reports.

Guardians of the Estate may not combine the incapacitated person’s assets with their own assets. Guardians of the Estate have a general responsibility to determine, safeguard, and manage the assets of the Incapacitated Person. This may include identifying assets such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property, establishing accounts in the name of the incapacitated person, authorizing payment of debts, obligations, and expenses of the incapacitated person, seeking court approval for authorization to sell or invade assets, and filing reports.

Per an Administrative Order all professional court appointed guardians will see a fee increase for incapacitated person who are recipients of Medicaid.

Guardianship Tracking System

  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
    • Please note that the filing fees for annual reports are waived if filed through the GTS website.
  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 have implemented the Guardianship Tracking System.
  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.

Advocord Pilot Program

Advocord is a secure online platform designed for anyone managing the life and details of an adult depended. Guardians may trial the Advocord platform and then determine if they wish to subscribe to continue use. Additional information and access to a free Learning Center can be found at