A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 64.2-1800, a guardian of a minor’s estate shall not make any distribution of income or corpus of the minor’s estate to or for the benefit of a ward who has a living parent, whether or not the guardian is such parent, except to the extent that the distribution is authorized by (i) the deed, will, or other instrument under which the estate is derived or (ii) the circuit court, upon a finding that (a) the parent is unable to completely fulfill the parental duty of supporting the minor, (b) the parent cannot for some reason be required to provide such support, or (c) a proposed distribution is beyond the scope of parental duty of support in the circumstances of a specific case. The existence of a parent-child relationship shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of § 64.2-102. The circuit court’s authorization may be contained in the order appointing the guardian or it may be obtained at any time prior to the distribution in question; however, in extenuating circumstances where the interests of equity so require, the court’s authorization may be obtained after the distribution in question.
B. A guardian who desires to make any distribution specified in subsection A that is not authorized by an existing court order or a deed, will, or other instrument under which the estate is derived shall file a petition in the circuit court wherein his accounts may be settled. The petition shall name the ward as a defendant and set forth the reasons why such distribution is appropriate. If the ward is 14 years of age or older, the guardian shall give notice of the petition to the ward at least five days before filing the petition. The court or clerk shall appoint an attorney-at-law as guardian ad litem to represent the ward. Proceedings on the petition shall conform to the procedures governing a civil action and the evidence may be taken orally. No attorney fees shall be taxed in the costs and no writ tax shall be required upon the petition. The court may fix reasonable attorney fees for services in connection with the filing of the petition, and the court shall fix the guardian ad litem’s fee. Such fees shall be paid out of the estate unless the court directs that they be paid personally by the guardian. The clerk shall receive a fee as provided in subdivision A 18 of § 17.1-275 for all services rendered thereon, to be paid by the guardian out of the estate. Any notice required to be served under this section may be served by any person other than the guardian.
C. Notwithstanding subsection B, if the court determines that an emergency exists, an order authorizing a distribution may be entered without the appointment of a guardian ad litem, provided that the court makes such further provisions in its order for the protection of the ward’s estate as it may deem proper in each case.
1999, c. 16, § 31-8.1; 2002, c. 832; 2005, c. 681; 2012, c. 614.