Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 16.1. Courts Not of Record
Chapter 11. Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts

§ 16.1-352. Written designation of a standby guardian by a parent; commencement of authority; court approval required.

A. A parent may execute a written designation of a standby guardian at any time. The written designation shall state:

1. The name, address and birthdate of the child affected;

2. The triggering event; and

3. The name and address of the person designated as standby guardian or alternate.

The written designation shall be signed by the parent. Another adult may sign the written designation on behalf of the parent if the parent is physically unable to do so, provided the designation is signed at the express request of the parent and in the presence of the parent. The designated standby guardian or alternate may not sign on behalf of the parent. The signed designation shall be delivered to the standby guardian and any alternate named as soon as practicable.

B. Following such delivery of the designation, the authority of a standby guardian to act for a qualified parent shall commence upon the occurrence of the specified triggering event and receipt by him of (i) a determination of incompetence; (ii) a certificate of death of the parent; (iii) evidence of the detention, incarceration, or deportation of the parent connected to an immigration action; or (iv) a determination of debilitation and the qualified parent's written consent to such commencement, signed by the parent or another on his behalf and at his direction as provided in subsection A for the designation.

C. A standby guardian under a designation shall have the authority of a guardian of the person and a guardian of the property of the child, unless otherwise specified in the designation.

D. A designated standby guardian or alternate shall file a petition for approval as standby guardian. The petition shall be filed as soon as practicable after the occurrence of the triggering event but in no event later than 30 days after the date of the commencement of his authority. The authority of the standby guardian shall cease upon his failure to so file, but shall recommence upon such filing. The petition shall be accompanied by a copy of the designation and any determinations of incapacity or debilitation or a certificate of death.

The provisions of subsection C of § 16.1-350 shall apply to a petition filed pursuant to this section. The court shall enter an order approving the designated guardian as standby guardian upon finding that:

1. The person was duly designated as standby guardian pursuant to this section and the designation has not been revoked;

2. A determination of incompetence was made; a determination of debilitation was made and the parent consented to commencement of the standby guardian's authority; the parent has died as evidenced by a death certificate; or the parent has been detained, incarcerated, or deported in connection with an immigration action;

3. The best interests of the child will be served by approval of the standby guardian; and

4. If the petition is by an alternate, that the designated standby guardian is unwilling or unable to serve.

1998, c. 829; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 241.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.