In Vecchione, a Federal court ruled unconstitutional the Pennsylvania law permitting State revenue
agents to act as statutory guardians and administer patient funds without court appointment.
The decision prohibits State revenue agents or any other official of these institutions
from disbursing funds for care and maintenance (i.e., the basic expenses of food,
clothing, and shelter, etc.) of a patient. The official can only administer funds
for personal needs expenses.
The guardian officer is the official who has the responsibility for the funds of patients/residents
who have been preliminarily determined to be incompetent and to ensure that the patients'
financial affairs are managed in the patients' best interests. The officer cannot
use the money for care and maintenance expenses unless appointed legal guardian by