Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 64.2. Wills, Trusts, and Fiduciaries
Subtitle IV. Fiduciaries and Guardians
Chapter 17. Appointment of Guardian

Chapter 17. Appointment of Guardian.

§ 64.2-1700. Natural guardians.

The parents of an unmarried minor child are the joint natural guardians of the person of such child with equal legal powers and legal rights with regard to such child, provided that the parents are living together, are respectively competent to transact their own business, and are not otherwise unsuitable. Upon the death of either parent, the survivor shall be the natural guardian of the person of such child. If either parent has abandoned the family, the other parent shall be the natural guardian of the person of such child.

Code 1919, § 5320; 1930, p. 687; Code 1950, § 31-1; 1999, c. 16; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-1701. Testamentary guardians.

A. Every parent may by will appoint (i) a guardian of the person of his minor child and (ii) a guardian for the estate bequeathed or devised by the parent to his minor child for such time during the minor's infancy as the parent directs. A guardian of a minor's estate shall have custody and control of the estate committed to his care. A guardian of the person of a minor other than a parent is not entitled to custody of the person of the minor so long as either of the minor's parents is living and such parent is a fit and proper person to have custody of the minor.

B. The appointment of any guardian pursuant to subsection A shall be void if the guardian (i) renounces the guardianship or (ii) fails to appear in the court in which the will is admitted to probate within six months after the probate to accept the guardianship and give any bond required under § 64.2-1704.

Code 1919, §§ 5314, 5315; 1930, p. 686; Code 1950, §§ 31-2, 31-3; 1989, c. 535; 1999, c. 16; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-1702. Appointment of guardians.

The circuit court or the circuit court clerk of any county or city in which a minor resides or, if the minor is an out-of-state resident, in which the minor has any estate may appoint a guardian for the estate of the minor and may appoint a guardian for the person of the minor unless a guardian has been appointed for the minor pursuant to § 64.2-1701.

Code 1919, § 5316; 1926, p. 588; 1928, pp. 25, 1085; 1930, p. 686; 1938, p. 4; 1942, p. 205; 1944, p. 28; Code 1950, § 31-4; 1989, c. 55; 1999, c. 16; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-1703. Nomination of guardians.

A. A minor who is at least 14 years old may, in the presence of the court or clerk, or in writing acknowledged before any officer qualified to take acknowledgments, nominate his own guardian for the estate or person of the minor, who shall be appointed if the court or clerk find that the guardian nominated is suitable and competent. If the guardian nominated by the minor is not appointed, if the minor resides without the Commonwealth, or if the court or clerk finds that the guardian nominated is not suitable and competent, the court or clerk may nominate and appoint a guardian for the minor in the same manner as if the minor were less than 14 years old.

B. In no case shall any person not related to the minor be appointed guardian until 30 days have elapsed since the death or disqualification of any natural or testamentary guardians and the minor's next of kin have had an opportunity to petition the court for appointment and unless the court or clerk is satisfied that such nonrelated person is competent to perform the duties of his office.

Code 1919, § 5317; 1926, p. 589; 1928, p. 1085; 1946, p. 223; Code 1950, § 31-5; 1954, c. 468; 1999, c. 16; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-1704. Guardian's bond.

A. Before any person may be appointed the guardian for the estate of a minor, the person, in the circuit court or before the circuit court clerk, shall take an oath that he will faithfully perform the duties of his office to the best of his judgment and give his bond in an amount at least equal to the value of the minor's personal estate coming under his control.

B. Every guardian for the estate of a minor shall provide surety upon his bond unless it is waived pursuant to § 64.2-1411 or, in the case of a testamentary guardian, it is waived by the testator's will. However, upon the motion of the court or clerk or upon the motion of another interested person, the court or clerk may at any time require surety upon a guardian's bond. Every order appointing a guardian shall state whether or not surety is required.

C. If the same guardian qualifies upon the estate of two or more minors who are members of the same family, such guardian shall only be required to give one guardianship bond.

Code 1919, § 5318; 1926, p. 589; 1928, p. 1085; Code 1950, § 31-6; 1954, c. 398; 1995, c. 225; 1999, c. 16; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-1705. Redetermination of guardian's bond.

Upon a guardian's request, the clerk shall redetermine the penalty of the guardian's bond in light of any reduction in the current market value of the estate under the guardian's control, whether such reduction is due to disbursements, distributions, valuation of assets, or disclaimer of fiduciary power, if such reduction is reflected in an accounting that has been confirmed by the circuit court or an inventory that has been approved by the commissioner of accounts. This provision shall not apply to any bond set by the court.

1999, c. 16, § 31-6.1; 2012, c. 614.

§ 64.2-1706. When court may appoint temporary guardians; bond; powers and duties.

Until a guardian appointed by the circuit court or clerk has given his bond, or while there is no guardian, the court or clerk may appoint a temporary guardian, who shall give his bond pursuant to § 64.2-1704. Any temporary guardian during the period of his guardianship shall have all the powers and responsibilities of and shall perform all the duties of a guardian.

Code 1919, § 5319; Code 1950, § 31-7; 1999, c. 16; 2012, c. 614.