Code of the District of Columbia

§ 16–2398. Successor guardian.

(a) Upon filing a motion for permanent guardianship pursuant to section 16-2384, the movant may designate and the court shall approve any successor guardian.

(b) A successor guardian may be designated or removed after the creation of the permanent guardianship by the filing of a motion to modify pursuant to section 16-2395.

(c) The successor guardian shall immediately obtain physical custody of the child and assume the permanent guardian’s rights and responsibilities concerning the child upon the permanent guardian’s death, or physical or mental infirmity.

(d) The successor guardian shall move the court for a modification of the original guardianship order within 30 days of obtaining physical custody of the child. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the successor guardian shall assume the permanent guardian’s rights and responsibilities concerning the child until the court conducts a hearing on the motion to modify.

(e) A motion filed pursuant to this section shall:

(1) Include information required by section 16-2384(c);

(2) Append the original order which designated the successor guardian; and

(3) Append a copy of either:

(A) Proof of the permanent guardian’s death, such as a copy of a death certificate or funeral home receipt; or

(B) Proof of the permanent guardian’s physical or mental infirmity.

(f) Before issuing a final order transferring the permanent guardian’s rights and responsibilities to the successor guardian, the court shall, in addition to the requirements specified in section 16-2395(e), find that:

(1) The successor guardian was duly designated by the permanent guardian;

(2) The permanent guardian is deceased or is physically or mentally infirm;

(3) The transfer of permanent guardianship is in the child’s best interests;

(4) Adoption, termination of parental rights, or return to parent is not appropriate for the child; and

(5) The successor guardian is suitable and able to provide a safe and permanent home for the child.