Hearings conducted by the commissioner are heard in the Commissioner of Accounts Office, not the Courthouse. On some occasions, simpler hearings may be held remotely. While the hearings are informal, the commissioner will require advocates to present testimony and exhibits in support of their positions and routinely will request briefs from counsel on complex issues of law.
By statute, the commissioner charges the guardianship for the conduct of the hearing and the preparation and filing of the report.. The 2022 statutory fee is $100 and is subject to change.
The commissioner prepares a report after the hearing and receipt of any subsequent briefs, and files it with the Court. A commissioner’s report will stand confirmed by law fifteen days after the report has been filed with the court in the absence of any objections being filed thereto.
If the parties file exceptions to the report, the Circuit Court reviews those exceptions and has plenary authority to accept or reject the findings and conclusions of the commissioner.
To file an exception to the commissioner’s report, a party must follow the Fairfax Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Probate Division’s “Procedures for Filing an Exception to a Personal Representative’s Accounting or a Commissioner of Accounts’ Report”. The Commissioner of Accounts Office cannot assist with this procedure. Any questions should be directed to your legal counsel.
Sale of Real Estate
In most cases, if the guardian wishes to sell the minor’s real estate, the commissioner must review and approve the proposed sale.
Generally, the commissioner seeks evidence of the necessity of the sale, the value of the property, and the terms of the proposed sale.
In light of the time constraints on most real estate transactions, the commissioner’s office makes every effort to reply promptly to requests for approval of a real estate sale.
See the separate real estate page on this website for further information.
Expenditures on behalf of a minor
The legal guardian of a minor’s estate is not to make any distributions of income or principal to or for a minor who has a living parent, unless the court finds that the parent is unable to fulfill his or her duty of support, finds the distribution is beyond the scope of parental duty of support, or the parent cannot for some reason be required to provide such support. See Virginia Code § 64.2-1801.
Upon request of a guardianship spending hearing, the commissioner of accounts has concurrent jurisdiction with the court to approve annual expenditures of $5,000 or less with proof of hardship.
Virginia Code § 64.2-1802 requires that the commissioner give five days written notice of a scheduled hearing date to any minor who is fourteen years of age or older.
Other than payment of administrative expenses, if the guardian expends any of the minor’s money without prior authorization when there is a living parent, the guardian may be required to restore the funds to the account and the commissioner may seek forfeiture of the guardian’s bond.
Virginia Code § 64.2 – 1209
If there are concerns about the guardianship administration that cannot be resolved with the guardian, an interested party may request a hearing in the commissioner’s office pursuant to § 64.2-1209 of the Virginia Code.
Generally, a hearing pursuant to § 64.2-1209 may encompass “anything which could be insisted upon or objected to by [an] interested person as if the commissioner of accounts were acting under an order of a Circuit Court.”
This office will not hold a hearing pursuant to § 64.2-1209 if the matter is the subject of a suit pending before the Court. Additionally, this office typically will not hold a hearing pursuant to § 64.2-1209 until after the first account is filed.