On Demand

Introduction to Contested Guardianships in Virginia

1h 2m

Created on October 01, 2019




Contested guardianships are not a new phenomenon, but demographics are resulting in an increase in the number of guardianships filed as well as the complexity of the cases. By 2030, everyone in the baby boomer generation will be older than age 65; older people will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. Though dementia rates are falling generally, increases in longevity mean that the number of persons over age 85, who are at the highest risk for dementia, will increase. Couple this data with the fact that during the next thirty to forty years, $30 trillion in assets will pass from the baby boomer generation to their heirs, litigation over the person and property of the elderly is going to boom. 

This course, presented by Jean Galloway Ball and Kimberley Ann Murphy, Co-Leaders of Contested Guardianship Litigation at Hale Ball in Virginia, will provide an introductory guide to representing a party in a guardianship case, including petitioners, intervening parties, and respondents. The focus will be on how to frame the issues in contested guardianships, from initiating the case through trial, including what should be included in the petition beyond what the statute requires. The program will also explore the role of the guardian ad Litem and their potential effect on your case, the use of traditional civil discovery tools, as well as limits on discovery unique to cases involving persons with diminished capacity. Finally, the presenters will touch on alternatives to going to trial, as well as best practices for trying the case if issues cannot be resolved.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the fundamentals of Virginia Civil Procedure and how those rules interplay with the framework of guardianships and conservatorships
  2. Analyze the roles of the different parties and how best to advocate for your client when in one of those roles
  3. Handle a contested guardianship proceeding

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