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SECTION 1. The father of any infant child shall be his natural guardian, and, on the father's death, the mother, if she survive, shall, so long as she remains unmarried, enjoy the same right as to all her children who are without a testamentary guardian.
SEC. 2. Every father may, by his last will, appoint a guardian for his infant child, born or to be born, and in default of such appointment by the father, or on the death, removal, or failure to qualify, of such testamentary guardian, the mother shall, if she survive, have the same power of appointment.
SEC. 3. The orphans' court shall have power to appoint a guardian to any infant child who may have property of any kind within, or whose person and residence may be within, the jurisdiction of the court, unless such infant already have a natural or testamentary guardian.
SEC. 4. When a testamentary guardian shall renounce, fail to
qualify, be removed, or shall die, during the minority of the ward, the orphans' court shall appoint a guardian in his stead, saving to the mother of such ward her right as natural guardian, and her power of appointment, as herein before provided.
SEC. 5. Such guardianship shall continue until the infant, whether male or female, attains the age of twenty-one years: provided, however, that the marriage of any female ward over eighteen years of age, to a person of full age, shall operate as a legal discharge of her guardianship, and the guardian shall account to the husband of such ward in the same manner as if she had arrived at full age.
SEC. 6. If the orphans' court be called on to appoint a guardian, and the infant be under the age of fourteen years, the court shall nominate and appoint the guardian; if the infant be above that age, he may, in the presence of the court, or by writing acknowledged before a justice of the peace, nominate his own guardian, who, if approved by the court, shall be appointed. If the guardian nominated by such infant shall not be appointed by the court, or if the infant shall neglect to nominate a suitable person, after being summoned, if he shall reside within this District, the court may nominate and appoint the guardian, in the same manner as if the infant were under the age of fourteen years. Any infant for whom the court has appointed a guardian while under the age of fourteen years, may, nevertheless, on attaining that age, nominate, as herein before provided, his own guardian.
SEC. 7. When an infant whose father or mother shall be living, shall be entitled to any separate property, the orphans' court may compel such father or mother entitled to act as natural guardian, to give bond and security, and to account as in case of other guardians, and, in the event of his or her failing so to do, the court may appoint a guardian.
SEC. 8. The orphans' court shall require of every guardian it appoints, and of all testamentary guardians, unless it be otherwise directed in the will appointing them, to give bond for the faithful performance of their trust.
SEC. 9. No guardian required by this chapter to give bond shall have any authority to act until he shall have entered into such bond. The same shall be given to the United States, with two or more sureties to be approved by the court, and in a penalty double the
amount of the personal estate, and of the value of the annual rents and profits of the real estate of the ward. The condition thereof shall be as follows: That such person will render a true and just account to the orphans' court of all moneys and property received by him, and of the application thereof, and that he will, in all respects, faithfully discharge the duties of guardian according to law.
SEC. 10. Such bond shall be liable also for the proceeds of sales of the infant's real estate which may come into the possession of the guardian. It shall be filed and recorded, and be subject to be put in suit, and be in all respects on a footing with an administration bond.
SEC. 11. Either new, additional, or counter security may be required of a guardian, as is hereinbefore provided in the case of an administrator; and if the guardian shall fail to give the same within the period fixed by the court, his authority shall be revoked, and the delivery of the property of his ward to a newly appointed guardian may be enforced in like manner as hereinafter provided in section thirteen of this chapter.
SEC. 12. Every such guardian shall have the custody and tuition of the infant, and the care and management of his estate: provided, however, that the father of such minor, or, if there be no father, the mother, if suitable persons, respectively, shall have the custody of the person and the control of the education of the minor.
SEC. 13. The orphans' court may order the delivery of the ward's property to his guardian. In the case of a legacy or bequest, the court shall order the delivery so soon as the same can be delivered without prejudice to the person administering; and in the case of a distributive share, as soon as the same shall be ascertained; and the court may enforce such delivery by a former guardian, administrator, or executor, by attachment and fine not exceeding three hundred dollars, and by suit upon his bond, or by sequestration.
SEC. 14. Every guardian shall cause an inventory and appraisement of the personal estate of his ward to be made in the manner, and by parties appointed and sworn, as provided in chapter fifty-six for the appraisement of the personal estate of deceased persons, and shall return the same to the orphans' court, within three months after the execution of his bond. On the receipt of any additional property belonging to his ward, the guardian shall, within one month thereafter, return an inventory and appraisement thereof in like manner.
SEC. 15. Every guardian having the care of real estate shall cause the same to be viewed and reported on, by persons appointed in like manner as provided in previous section. It shall be incumbent on such persons, after taking an oath for the impartial discharge of their duties, to examine the real estate and estimate the annual value thereof, including any slaves, stock, or utensils thereon belonging to the ward, and proper to be leased with the same. They shall also report what dwelling houses, out-houses, or other improvements are thereon, and the condition thereof, and what proportion of any land is in woods, and shall annex a certificate of their appointment, and of their having taken the required oath. The same shall be returned by the guardian to the orphans' court, within three months after the execution of his bond, and shall be evidence against him in the event of any suit for misconduct.
SEC. 16. Such real estate shall either be cultivated by the guardian, with the slaves, stock, and utensils belonging to the ward or to be purchased with his money with the approbation of the orphans' court, or shall be leased by the guardian from year to year, or for any term not exceeding three years, and within the nonage of the ward; or he may, with the court's approbation, undertake the estate on his own account, and be answerable for the annual value, the same to be ascertained by appraisement every third year under the direction of the court.
SEC. 17. No guardian shall commit waste on the land of his ward, but the orphans' court may authorize him to cut and sell wood, and account for the same, should it deem it necessary to the ward's maintenance or education, or advantageous to his interests.
SEC. 18. Once in each year, or oftener if required, a guardian shall settle, under oath, an account, verified by vouchers or proof, of his trusts, with the orphans' court, and shall account therein for all profits and increase of the estate, or annual value as aforesaid, but shall not be answerable for any loss or decrease, unless caused by his negligence. In his first account the guardian shall state the property received by him from an executor or administrator, or previous guardian, as well as all profit thence arising.
SEC. 19. Every account of a guardian shall state his expenditures in maintaining his ward, and the amount to be expended annually for such purpose shall be ascertained by the orphan's court, regard
being had to the future situation and prospects of the ward. The court may, if it shall deem it advantageous to the ward, allow the guardian for such purposes to exceed the income of the estate, and to make use of the principal, or a part thereof; provided, that no part of the ward's real estate shall, on account of such maintenance and education, be diminished without the approbation of the circuit court, obtained as herein before provided in chapter sixty-one.
SEC. 20. No guardian shall be summoned by the orphans' court, ex officio, to account when the annual income or profits of the estate of the ward shall not exceed fifty dollars.
SEC. 21. On a guardian failing to account as herein before directed, he may be removed by the orphan's court, and he may be proceeded against by attachment, and fined not exceeding one hundred dollars. His bond may also be put in suit.
SEC. 22. The orphans' court may at any time, should it deem it advantageous to the ward, order a sale of his personal property, for the purpose of reinvestment. Such sale may be for ready money or on credit, the purchaser giving bond or note with security to the ward, bearing interest, and all proceedings relative thereto shall be as directed respecting sales by administrators.
SEC. 23. The court may also order the sale of any lease-hold estates of a ward under like circumstances.
SEC. 24. The proceeds of such sales shall, under an order of the orphans' court, be invested in the name of the ward, in any public or bank stock or other good security specified by the court, yielding at least six per cent. per annum, and no transfer or disposal thereof shall be made without the sanction of the orphans' court.
SEC. 25. All surplus money belonging to a ward shall, under an order of the court, be invested in like manner, and subject to like restrictions.
SEC. 26. A guardian who receives from a trustee or other officer of a court any proceeds of the real estate of his ward sold by such officer, shall, under an order of the orphans' court, invest the same in the manner prescribed in the section immediately preceding, and the surplus interest of such investment, after what may be needed in aid of the income from the personal estate for the maintenance and education of the ward, shall be invested in like manner, under the direction of the court. Such investments shall likewise be made in the