Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–4804(Perm). Authority of the standby guardian.

(a) Upon the occurrence of a triggering event, the standby guardian shall have authority to act and shall assume the rights, powers, duties, and obligations existing under law between a legal custodian and a child. The designator shall retain concurrent authority over the child as the designator’s health permits.

(b) If a clinician determines, at the request of the designator, that the designator is no longer incapacitated, or the designator withdraws the consent that acknowledged debilitation, the standby guardian shall no longer have authority to act as the child’s legal custodian. Failure of a standby guardian to comply with this provision and to immediately return the child to the designator’s care shall entitle the designator to an emergency hearing in a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) The designation of a standby guardian does not extinguish or limit any rights, powers, duties, or obligations of the parent, legal custodian, or legal guardian, or of any other individual with parental or custodial rights existing at the time of the designation. The standby guardianship shall be construed so as to enable the designator to plan for the future care of a child, without terminating parental or legal rights, and to give the standby guardian the authority to act in a manner consistent with the known wishes of the designator regarding the care, custody, and support of the minor child.

(d) The commencement of the standby guardian’s authority to act shall not divest the designator of any parental rights. A standby guardian shall assure the designator frequent and continuing contact with and physical access to the child and, to the greatest extent possible, the involvement of the designator in the decision-making on behalf of the child.

(e) At the death of the designator, the standby guardian shall become the legal custodian of the child as defined in District of Columbia statutes.


(June 25, 2002, D.C. Law 14-152, § 2, 49 DCR 4248.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 16-4806.