Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Chapter 20. Guardianship and Conservatorship

§ 64.2-2019. Duties and powers of guardian.

A. A guardian stands in a fiduciary relationship to the incapacitated person for whom he was appointed guardian and may be held personally liable for a breach of any fiduciary duty to the incapacitated person. A guardian shall not be liable for the acts of the incapacitated person unless the guardian is personally negligent. A guardian shall not be required to expend personal funds on behalf of the incapacitated person.

B. A guardian's duties and authority shall not extend to decisions addressed in a valid advance directive or durable power of attorney previously executed by the incapacitated person. A guardian may seek court authorization to revoke, suspend, or otherwise modify a durable power of attorney, as provided by the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (§ 64.2-1600 et seq.). Notwithstanding the provisions of the Health Care Decisions Act (§ 54.1-2981 et seq.) and in accordance with the procedures of § 64.2-2012, a guardian may seek court authorization to modify the designation of an agent under an advance directive, but the modification shall not in any way affect the incapacitated person's directives concerning the provision or refusal of specific medical treatments or procedures.

C. A guardian shall maintain sufficient contact with the incapacitated person to know of his capabilities, limitations, needs, and opportunities. The guardian shall visit the incapacitated person as often as necessary.

D. A guardian shall be required to seek prior court authorization to change the incapacitated person's residence to another state, to terminate or consent to a termination of the person's parental rights, or to initiate a change in the person's marital status.

E. A guardian shall, to the extent feasible, encourage the incapacitated person to participate in decisions, to act on his own behalf, and to develop or regain the capacity to manage personal affairs. A guardian, in making decisions, shall consider the expressed desires and personal values of the incapacitated person to the extent known and shall otherwise act in the incapacitated person's best interest and exercise reasonable care, diligence, and prudence. A guardian shall not unreasonably restrict an incapacitated person's ability to communicate with, visit, or interact with other persons with whom the incapacitated person has an established relationship.

F. A guardian shall have authority to make arrangements for the funeral and disposition of remains, including cremation, interment, entombment, memorialization, inurnment, or scattering of the cremains, or some combination thereof, if the guardian is not aware of any person that has been otherwise designated to make such arrangements as set forth in § 54.1-2825. A guardian shall have authority to make arrangements for the funeral and disposition of remains after the death of an incapacitated person if, after the guardian has made a good faith effort to locate the next of kin of the incapacitated person to determine if the next of kin wishes to make such arrangements, the next of kin does not wish to make the arrangements or the next of kin cannot be located. Good faith effort shall include contacting the next of kin identified in the petition for appointment of a guardian. The funeral service licensee, funeral service establishment, registered crematory, cemetery, cemetery operator, or guardian shall be immune from civil liability for any act, decision, or omission resulting from acceptance of any dead body for burial, cremation, or other disposition when the provisions of this section are met, unless such acts, decisions, or omissions resulted from bad faith or malicious intent.

1997, c. 921, § 37.1-137.1; 2005, c. 716, § 37.2-1020; 2010, cc. 455, 632; 2012, cc. 463, 614; 2016, cc. 404, 405.

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.