Our View of the Legislature – Guardianship

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In Virginia, guardianships are the most restrictive form of legal intervention for people who need assistance with decision-making. Courts frequently remove all of the individual’s rights, when less restrictive tools could serve the individual better. The disAbility Law Center of Virginia is following and speaking to bills in the legislature concerning the rights of people who are under guardianship throughout the session. Here are some of special interest:

  • SB 290 (Roem) and HB 115  (Sullivan) strengthen reporting requirements for guardians, with an initial annual report reflecting the first four months of guardianship and each subsequent annual report for each succeeding 12-month period within four months from the last day of the last 12-month period. Current reporting requirements are much laxer. HB 115 was approved by the full House and now moves to the Senate. The Senate bill was approved in the Senate Courts of Justice.
  • SB 292 (Roem) provides that when considering a prospective guardian or conservator, guardian ad litem shall consider their work as a professional guardian, including whether the person does so on a full-time basis, their expected capacity as a guardian, and whether the prospective guardian or conservator is named as a perpetrator in any substantiated adult protective services complaint involving the respondent. The bill is in the Senate Courts of Justice.
  • SB 293 (Roem) defines and prohibits “conflicts of interest” and “self-dealing” in the context of guardianships and conservatorships. The Bill also provides that any sale or transaction that constitutes self-dealing shall be voidable by the court. The bill was continued to 2025 Senate Courts of Justice
  • HB 786 (Hope) allows a person subject to a guardianship or conservatorship who is not represented by counsel to ask to reconsider, modify, or terminate such guardianship or conservatorship by informal communication to the court by any means, including by informal letter, telephone call, email, or in-person visit. The bill was amended to state that the request must be in writing. The amended bill was approved by the House Courts of Justice

Our mission is to advance independence, choice, and self-determination; protect legal, human, and civil rights; and eliminate abuse, neglect, and discrimination of people with disabilities through zealous and uncompromising legal advocacy and representation.

We are available to educate policymakers about the potential impact of legislative proposals. Please let us know of any issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at ga@dlcv.org or info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 1-804-225-2042.