How to Remove a Guardian in Illinois

By Anna Assad

A guardian in Illinois is responsible for the care and safety of a minor child or a mentally incompetent adult or his property. Although the laws and procedures are different for obtaining legal guardianship of a minor versus an adult, the removal process is similar. In both cases, you must file a petition in the Illinois probate court overseeing the guardianship—usually the court that originally appointed the guardian—for removal of a current guardian. Any person may petition for the removal of an adult or minor guardian, but you'll have to prove to the court why the guardian should be removed. Common reasons for guardian removal include misuse of the ward's property, the guardian's failure to take care of the ward and the guardian's own incompetency.

A guardian in Illinois is responsible for the care and safety of a minor child or a mentally incompetent adult or his property. Although the laws and procedures are different for obtaining legal guardianship of a minor versus an adult, the removal process is similar. In both cases, you must file a petition in the Illinois probate court overseeing the guardianship—usually the court that originally appointed the guardian—for removal of a current guardian. Any person may petition for the removal of an adult or minor guardian, but you'll have to prove to the court why the guardian should be removed. Common reasons for guardian removal include misuse of the ward's property, the guardian's failure to take care of the ward and the guardian's own incompetency.

Step 1

Gather proof showing the guardian needs to be removed. For example, if the guardian has been mismanaging the ward's funds, locate bank statements, receipts and financial records showing the guardian's activities with the ward's assets. Make copies.

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Step 2

Make a witness list. Speak to witnesses personally. Witnesses who have knowledge of or have witnessed the guardian's actions on behalf of the ward strengthen the case. Speaking to witnesses before the hearing helps ensure they're ready to swear to the information they have and will be available for court.

Step 3

Make a list of possible replacement guardians, both temporary and permanent. If the guardian is removed, the ward will need a interim guardian and a new permanent guardian. Failure to have a qualified interim guardian available might lead to the ward becoming a ward of Illinois temporarily. Possible replacements must be least 18, have no criminal history, be able to take care of the ward and have no legal disability. If possible, replacements should include persons already involved in the ward's life, such as close relatives.

Step 4

Visit the Illinois probate court that awarded the current guardian authority. Ask for the petition for the removal of a legal guardian. Ask the clerk for the court rules. Petition formats vary by county in Illinois, but you'll need at least the following: the ward's name, date of birth and current address; the name and current address of the guardian; the reason for removal; and a list of possible willing replacement and interim guardians.

Step 5

Complete the petition. Attach proof copies. Sign in front of the court clerk for notarization. File the petition; a filing fee applies but varies by county. Note the hearing date the clerk gives you. Ask the clerk for filed copies of the petition. You need enough copies to give one copy to the guardian, all "interested" persons and the ward , if the ward is an adult or a minor over 13 years old. Interested persons are the ward's nearest relatives. For a minor, adult siblings and parents are the nearest relatives; if none are living, any living grandparents and uncles and aunts. For an adult ward, you'll need copies for her nearest relatives, usually her spouse and adult children.

Step 6

Deliver copies of the petition to all parties via the method required by the court. Check the court rules. You may have to arrange personal service—a person over 18 not involved in the case hand-delivers the copy—or you may be able to send the copies by certified mail, return receipt. Follow the court rules regarding delivery of the petition.

Step 7

Tell all witnesses the hearing date and time.

Step 8

Attend the hearing. Bring original evidence and the witnesses to court.

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References

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