Our View of the Legislature: Guardianship

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In October, 2021, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission issued a report on Virginia’s Guardianship and Conservatorship laws, making dozens of recommendations for improvements. You can read that report here.

As a result of that study, and from the experiences of people all over the Commonwealth, the legislature will be considering numerous bills this year that address our guardianship programs and laws. Some of those bills include:

  • HB 94 (Head) creates an Ombudsman for the public guardianship program
  • HB 424 (Herring) and HB 634 (Roem) require a guardian to visit the incapacitated person at least once very three months to make certain observations.
  • HB 623 (Hudson) requires the guardian ad litem to recommend appointment of counsel if the person who may be subject to the guardianship requests counsel. Current law only requires it if the GAL believes it is necessary.
  • HB 643 (Roem) sets conditions for periodic reviews of guardianship orders
  • SB 302(Deeds) allows a physician to declare someone permanently incapacitated prior to age 18 making the parents permanent natural guardians.

Please continue to check back here for regular updates as these and other guardianship-related bills are debated in the legislature.

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia’s 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 policy makers about the potential impact of legislative proposals and budgetary considerations. Please let us know of any legislative proposals or budget issues that you think we should be following. Contact us at info@dlcv.org or by calling 1-800-552-3962 or 804-225-2042.