State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_35A > GS_35A-1370

SUBCHAPTERIV.  STANDBY GUARDIANS FOR MINOR CHILDREN.

Article 21.

Standby Guardianship.

§ 35A‑1370. Definitions.

For purposes of this Article:

(1)        "Alternatestandby guardian" means a person identified in either a petition ordesignation to become the guardian of the person or, when appropriate, thegeneral guardian of a minor child, pursuant to G.S. 35A‑1373 or to G.S.35A‑1374, when the person identified as the standby guardian and thedesignator or petitioner has identified an alternate standby guardian.

(2)        "Attendingphysician" means the physician who has primary responsibility for thetreatment and care of the parent or legal guardian. When more than onephysician shares this responsibility, or when a physician is acting on theprimary physician's behalf, any such physician may act as the attendingphysician pursuant to this section. When no physician has this responsibility,a physician who is familiar with the petitioner's medical condition may act asthe attending physician pursuant to this Article.

(3)        "Debilitation"means a chronic and substantial inability, as a result of a physicallydebilitating illness, disease, or injury, to care for one's minor child.

(4)        "Designation"means a written document voluntarily executed by the designator pursuant tothis Article.

(5)        "Designator"means a person who suffers from a progressive chronic illness or anirreversible fatal illness and who is the biological or adoptive parent, theguardian of the person, or the general guardian of a minor child. A designationunder this Article may be made on behalf of a designator by the guardian of theperson or the general guardian of the designator.

(6)        "Determinationof debilitation" means a written determination made by the attendingphysician which contains the physician's opinion to a reasonable degree ofmedical certainty regarding the nature, cause, extent, and probable duration ofthe debilitation of the petitioner or designator.

(7)        "Determinationof incapacity" means a written determination made by the attending physicianwhich contains the physician's opinion to a reasonable degree of medicalcertainty regarding the nature, cause, extent, and probable duration of theincapacity of the petitioner or designator.

(8)        "Incapacity"means a chronic and substantial inability, as a result of mental or organicimpairment, to understand the nature and consequences of decisions concerningthe care of one's minor child, and a consequent inability to make thesedecisions.

(9)        "Minorchild" means an unemancipated child or children under the age of 18 years.

(10)      "Petitioner"means a person who suffers from a progressive chronic illness or anirreversible fatal illness and who is the biological parent, the adoptiveparent, the guardian of the person, or the general guardian of a minor child. Aproceeding under this Article may be initiated and pursued on behalf of apetitioner by the guardian of the person, the general guardian of thepetitioner, or by a person appointed by the clerk of superior court pursuant toRule 17 of the Rules of Civil Procedure as guardian ad litem for the purpose ofinitiating and pursuing a proceeding under this Article on behalf of apetitioner.

(11)      "Standbyguardian" means a person appointed pursuant to G.S. 35A‑1373 ordesignated pursuant to G.S. 35A‑1374 to become the guardian of the personor, when appropriate, the general guardian of a minor child upon the death of apetitioner or designator, upon a determination of debilitation or incapacity ofa petitioner or designator, or with the consent of a petitioner or designator.

(12)      "Triggeringevent" means an event stated in the designation executed or order enteredunder this Article which empowers the standby guardian, or the alternatestandby guardian, if one is identified and the standby guardian is unwilling orunable to serve, to assume the duties of the office, which event may be thedeath of a petitioner or designator, incapacity of a petitioner or designator,debilitation of a petitioner or designator with the petitioner's ordesignator's consent, or the consent of the petitioner or designator, whicheveroccurs first. (1995, c. 313, s. 1.)