Our View of the Legislature: Guardianship

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The 2022 session began with dozens of proposals intended to improve Virginia’s guardianship laws based on a study done by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission found by clicking here. In the end, very few of the proposals survived.

The most comprehensive bill is the senate version, SB 514, from Senator McPike. The bill contains increased notice provisions, greater protections for an individual who requests an attorney in the guardianship proceeding, and a preference, although not a requirement, that the guardian visit the individual at least twice a year. SB 514 was approved by both the Senate and the House but is dependent on funding in the budget.

HB 634 (Roem) creates a workgroup to study the impact of more frequent visitation requirements. The bill was approved by both the Senate and the House.

HB 623 (Hudson) requires the guardian ad litem to notify the court promptly if the person who may be subject to the guardianship requests counsel. The bill was approved by both the House and Senate; the requirement is identical to provisions in SB 514.

HB 643 (Roem) would set conditions for periodic reviews of guardianship orders. The bill was defeated in House Appropriations.

HB 1207 (Roem) would have established a training program for guardians. The bill was defeated in House Appropriations.

HB 1260 (Roem) would have created a process for when a guardian can restrict visitors for an incapacitated person, which leaned towards supporting the right of a person’s visitation rights.  The bill was defeated in House Appropriations.

SB 302 (Deeds) emphasizes that a person with an advanced directive or who has recognized decision makers does not have to have a guardian appointed in order to receive health care. The bill was approved by the Senate, but the House made some clarifying amendments, which the Senate rejected. The bill will now go to a committee of conference to try to resolve the differences.

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