In its pamphlet about Being a Guardian, the Illinois State Bar Association outlines key issues regarding the duties of Guardians.
There are several types of Guardians: Guardian of the Person, Guardian of the Estate, Limited Guardian, Plenary Guardian, Temporary Guardian and Successor Guardian. A Personal Guardian takes care of the Ward, and an Estate Guardian manages the Ward’s estate (real estate, bank accounts, personal property). A Limited Guardian has only those powers granted by the Court, but a Plenary Guardian has all of the powers available to Guardians under the law. A Temporary Guardian’s powers are not effective for more than 60 days. A Successor Guardian takes over by Order of the Court for a previously appointed Guardian.
As Estate Guardian, an Inventory must be filed with the Court within 60 days of appointment listing all of the Ward’s assets including land, bank accounts, cash cars, boats, stocks, bonds, insurance policies and valuable artwork and jewelry.
The Estate Guardian is responsible for filing the Ward’s federal and state income tax returns if the Ward has enough income to require those filings. The Estate Guardian also has the duty to appear for the Ward in all legal proceedings. An attorney may be hired to handle any legal matters involving the Ward, and with the Court’s permission, the Ward’s funds may be used to pay for the attorney fees.
The Estate Guardian must submit an account to the Court each year listing all receipts and disbursements made for the Ward and all property in the Ward’s estate.
The Guardian’s responsibilities continue until the Court relieves him of the obligation. This happens upon the termination of the Guardianship, death of the Ward or the Guardian’s resignation or removal.
Contact an estate planning attorney for further information.