Quick Guide to WV Guardianship
West Virginia Guardianship Laws
The “Guardianship and Conservatorship Act” is located in Chapter 44A of the state’s revised statutes. For a link to all statutes on West Virginia guardianships, visit the following link.
The majority of information in this article about WV guardianship is referenced from the following document under the KDC Income Management Organization (formerly the Appalachian Benefits Assistance Corporation):
Eligibility Factors for West Virginia Guardianships
According to state law, any adult may qualify for a West Virginia guardianship or conservatorship—or even both. The court will investigate a person’s criminal background, financial history, former relationship with the ward (if any), and overall responsibility before considering a WV guardianship.
A court will always prefer a family member(s), friend, or other person formerly associated with the ward before others for West Virginia guardianships.
Duties within a West Virginia Guardianship
A court will always hear testimony from the ward before setting guidelines within the WV guardianship. Additionally, apart from simply qualifying for the West Virginia guardianship, a guardian must complete the following duties:
1. Mandatory Training for West Virginia Guardianships- after a person qualifies for WV guardianship, they must complete an educational class and training require by the court within 30 days of being approved. Once the training for the West Virginia guardianship is completed, the guardian must submit an affidavit to the court.
2. Order of Appointment- you must take an oath to fulfill all duties within West Virginia guardianships, and a copy of the order must be sent to the ward and all people who received a copy of the petition within 14 days of appointment.
3. Annual Reports- most West Virginia guardianships require the guardian to file an annual report with the court. The reports for West Virginia guardianships usually include the following:
• description of the current health of the ward and the following;
• living arrangements within the West Virginia guardianship
• medical, educational, vocational, and other services provided to the ward
• summary of your visits during the WV guardianship
• statement of whether you agree with the current plan
• the need for extended WV guardianship
• other information the court may find useful
• the compensation you requested for the West Virginia guardianship, and other expenses you incurred
How do I file for a West Virginia Guardianships?
In order to petition for West Virginia guardianships, you’ll have to file a petition with your circuit court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the WV guardianship is in the best interests of the ward. For a list of West Virginia courts, click on the link.
West Virginia guardianships also give the respondent certain rights after the petition has been filed. The respondent must be notified of the place and time of the hearing for the West Virginia guardianship, be represented by legal counsel, be present at all proceedings except if they have a medical exception. The respondent also has a right to trial by jury and may even cross examine witnesses.