How to Get Temporary Guardianship in Illinois

How to Get Temporary Guardianship in Illinois

Temporary Guardianship in Illinois allows for the appointment of a short-term guardian (temporary guardian), while the process for the appointment of a long-term (plenary) guardian moves forward in court.  In cases where an emergency exists, and a personal and/or financial decision maker is needed before all of the requirements to appoint a plenary guardian can be met, a temporary guardian can be appointed.  

What You Need Before a Plenary Guardian Can Be Appointed

Before a plenary guardian can be appointed, several things need to take place, including:

  • Personal service of guardianship documents to the alleged person with a disability (Respondent);
  • Notice to Respondent’s spouse, adult children and siblings or other close relatives; and 
  • Appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, who will meet with Respondent (generally, but not in all situations); 

A judge can appoint a temporary guardian of estate, person or both, depending on the specific facts and circumstances related to your case.

What are Examples of Emergencies for Temporary Guardianship?

Ultimately, the assigned judge will decide whether an emergency exists to appoint a temporary guardian. Some examples of cases where temporary guardianships have been granted are: 

  • The Respondent has no one to consent to medical treatment.
  • There is conflict between family members as to what medical treatment is in the Respondent’s best interest.
  • The Respondent is in an unsafe living situation and needs to be transferred to a residential facility placement. 
  • There is a need to restrict someone from visiting with the Respondent.
  • The Respondent’s bills are going unpaid and no one has access to their accounts to make payments for their benefit.
  • The Respondent is being financially exploited and accounts need to be frozen.

The circumstances where a temporary guardianship in Illinois can be granted are specific and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  At Dutton Casey & Mesoloras, our attorneys can assess the specific facts of your matter and determine whether it is likely the Court will appoint a temporary guardian.  

Who Qualifies to Act as Temporary Guardian?  

The qualifications for who can act as a temporary guardian are the same as those for a plenary guardian.  A nominated temporary guardian must meet the following qualifications: 

  • A resident of the United States;
  • Over the age of 18;
  • Never convicted of a felony (some exceptions); and
  • Never been adjudicated a person with a disability by a court

Any temporary guardian of the person will need to submit an “oath of office” and “no surety bond” to the Court in order to act as temporary guardian of the person.  A temporary guardian of the estate will need to submit an “oath of office” and “surety bond”, which covers 1.5x the value of the Respondent’s personal assets in the temporary guardian’s control. If you live outside of Illinois, to be appointed as temporary guardian, you will need to designate an Illinois agent who can accept service on your behalf in the state.      

A professional guardian can be nominated to act as a temporary guardian for a Repondent.  Professional guardians should be made aware and willing to accept appointment, before you nominate them to act as temporary guardian. There are some professional guardians who will only act as guardian of the person or as guardian of the estate, and some can do both.  A corporate fiduciary (a bank) can be nominated to act as temporary guardian of the estate.  

Procedure for Temporary Guardianship

File a Petition

In order to petition for temporary guardianship in Illinois, you must first file a Petition for Appointment of Guardian, nominating a person or professional guardian to act as plenary or limited guardian for the Respondent.  The Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian can be filed at the same time or any time before a plenary or limited guardian is appointed.  Therefore, while an emergency may not exist at the time of filing of the plenary petition, if one arises, a Petition for Appointment of Temporary Guardian can be filed.

Request Specific Authorities

A nominated temporary guardian must request the specific authorities they are requesting from the Court in their petition.  A temporary guardian will only be granted certain specific authorities in an Order Appointing Temporary Guardian, and cannot act outside of those authorities without an additional court order.  It’s important to identify which authorities a temporary guardian may need before filing the petition.  

Request Emergency Hearing Date

Once the temporary guardianship petition is filed, your attorney will request an emergency hearing date and present the petition before the assigned judge.  Any nominated temporary guardian must be present at the hearing to answer the qualifying questions under oath.  If the judge finds there is an emergency, they can appoint a temporary guardian of person, estate or both.  

Watch the Deadlines

An appointment of a temporary guardianship is only valid for 60 days, and can be extended for an additional 60 days, with the Court’s approval.  A new temporary guardianship petition will need to be filed and a new hearing will take place, if after 120 days, a temporary guardian is still needed.  

Ending a Temporary Guardianship

Once the Petition for Appointment of Guardian is ultimately addressed, either the temporary guardianship will lapse or the judge will discharge the temporary guardian.  Any temporary guardian who has controlled estate assets will be required to present and have an accounting approved by the Court.    

If you have any questions about how to get temporary guardianship in Illinois, please contact us.

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