Guardianship for Minors
Guardianship of a minor is needed when a person under the age of 18 is without a legal decision maker or inherits over $10,000.00. A minor may need a guardian of the person, a guardian of the estate, or both, depending on the situation. To make sure that you are prepared for the minors guardianship process and fulfilling your responsibilities if appointed as legal guardian, you need a minors guardianship attorney. At Dutton Casey & Mesoloras, P.C., our experienced guardianship attorneys can help you throughout the process of a minors guardianship.
Minors Guardianship Process
In Illinois, the only way to become a legal guardian is to be appointed by the court. The procedures for minors guardianship are set forth by law and include the following:
- Petition – we help our clients determine which type of petition for guardianship of a minor is needed, and draft and file all necessary paperwork to start the guardianship process.
- Notice – notice of the court date, time, and location must be sent to certain people, including the minor’s parents and current legal guardian, if applicable.
- Consent of Parents – if a minor’s parents consent to the guardianship, we will request the consent in writing to provide it to the court
- Guardian Qualifications – the person seeking to be appointed as guardian must be at least 18 years old, a resident of the United States, not convicted of a felony (with certain exceptions), and not found to be disabled by a court.
- Oath and Bond – the person seeking to be appointed as guardian will need to submit an oath and bond to the court.
- Court Reporting – a guardian of a minor’s estate will be responsible for ongoing reporting to the court regarding the management of the minor’s estate.
Guardianship of a Minor’s Person
If a minor’s parents or previously appointed guardian are unable or unwilling to care for the child, a petition for guardian of a minor can be filed to nominate a guardian of the person. Guardianship of the person for a minor is necessary for a non-parent to make decisions a parent generally makes, like registering a minor in school and consenting to medical treatment.
Guardianship of a Minor’s Estate
If a child under age 18 inherits over $10,000.00 from a deceased parent or any other person or is receiving a personal injury settlement, a petition for guardianship of a minor should be filed to nominate a guardian of their estate. A guardian of the estate must be appointed for the minor to receive their inheritance or settlement. Even if the child has a willing and able parent, the court will require the appointment of a guardian of a minor’s estate. Once the guardian of the estate is appointed by the court, the funds are deposited into a restricted bank account, which can either remain untouched until the child turns 18 or can be used for the child’s benefit, with the court’s oversight and authorization.