SB 54 - This act provides that the custodial parent of a minor, or the parent of an incapacitated person who has been appointed guardian of such person, may designate a person to act as a standby guardian of the minor or the incapacitated person by a will or by a separate written instrument.
If a parent who has designated a standby guardian is or becomes seriously ill, the parent or designated standby guardian may file a petition in probate court seeking appointment of the person as the standby guardian of the minor or the incapacitated person. The petition must be filed with a copy of the will or the written instrument designating the standby guardian, with consent to act as standby guardian by the person so designated.
The petition also must contain certain identifying and contact information for the minor or incapacitated person, the custodial parent and designated standby guardian, each parent of the minor or incapacitated person, the spouse and all living children of the minor or incapacitated person, information about any adjudication of incapacity for person, and the reasons why a standby guardian is sought.
The court shall determine appointment of a standby guardian after considering whether there is a parent other than the custodial parent willing, able and fit to care for the person, the suitability of any person nominated by the minor or incapacitated person to be standby guardian if the minor or incapacitated person can communicate such, and the desirability of minimizing stress and disruption and avoiding placement of the minor or incapacitated person in foster or similar care if the parent becomes incapacitated or dies.
The act also states that the authority of the person to act as standby guardian shall take effect if the person has previously been appointed by the court as a standby guardian, or, if the person has not yet been appointed, if the consent of the parent is given in a written instrument, if an entry of an order adjudicating the parent as incapacitated has been entered, or if the custodial parent dies, whichever first occurs. The standby guardian must notify the court within ten days after he or she begins acting as standby guardian, and within sixty days, must petition the court for appointment as a standby guardian or for another qualified person to be guardian for the minor or incapacitated person.
Nothing within this act shall be construed to deprive a parent of his or her legal rights or obligations towards a minor or incapacitated person, or to supersede such rights.
This act is similar to CCS/SS/HCS/HB 154 (2009), SB 596 (2006), SCS/SB 35 (2007) and SCS/SB 745 (2008).