HARRISBURG – Legislation to safeguard the dignity of adults in need of guardianship was signed into law by Gov. Josh Shapiro. Senate Bill 506 – now Act 61 of 2023 – marks a significant stride in protecting vulnerable adults from abuse, neglect, and exploitation within the guardianship system. Currently, PA has more than 19,000 active guardianships. While many serve their intended purpose, some result in devastating abuse and exploitation. Key provisions include the automatic appointment of counsel; exploration of alternatives to guardianship; and measures to prevent prolonged stays in the system amid changing circumstances. It also mandates training and screening for professional guardianships, enhancing the review process for current cases to ensure the utmost dignity for those under guardianship. Supporters believe the new law will significantly contribute to preventing fraud, abuse and exploitation within the guardianship system while increasing representation for vulnerable persons.