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How to Remove a Guardian in Illinois

Updated on
October 28, 2019
Article written by
Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article we will explain how to remove a guardian in Illinois.  We will discuss the grounds for removal of a guardian in Illinois as well as answer the question, “what is the process for removing a guardian in Illinois?”

For some foundational information about guardianship, check out our article: Illinois Guardianship Explained.

Grounds for Removal of a Guardian in Illinois

An Illinois guardian may be removed on any of the following grounds:

  • Acting under false pretenses;
  • The guardian is himself or herself adjudged to be a person with a disability;
  • Conviction of a felony;
  • Wasting or mismanagement of the estate;
  • Endangering any co-guardian or the bond surety for the guardian through his or her behavior;
  • Failing to give the proper bond after being ordered to do so by a court;
  • Failing to file an inventory or accounting after being ordered to do so by a court;
  • Concealing himself or herself so as to avoid service of process;
  • Becoming incapable or unsuitable for the performance of guardianship duties;
  • Neglect and deprivation;
  • Malfeasance;
  • A more appropriate guardian is willing to serve; or
  • Any other good cause.  

What is the Process for Removing a Guardian in Illinois?

A petition for removal of guardian may be filed by any “interested person” or on the motion of the court.  An “interested person” is someone who has a financial interest, property right, or fiduciary status that may be impacted by the guardian or the guardianship proceeding.  This includes heirs, legatees, creditors, spouses, and children, or the guardian herself.  The term “interested person” has been interpreted broadly and may include any loved ones.  The petition must state facts amounting to grounds for removal of the guardian.  

After the petition is filed, the court will issue a citation directing the guardian to show good cause why he or she should not be removed for the cause stated in the citation.  The citation must be properly served in the same manner as a civil summons at least 10 days prior to the return date shown on the citation.  

The return date is the deadline for the guardian to file a response to the petition.  This may take the form of a motion to dismiss or an answer denying the facts alleged in the petition.  

After potential discovery, a hearing will be held at which both the petitioner and the guardian will have an opportunity to present evidence supporting their cases.  The burden is on the petitioner to prove that there are reasonable grounds for removal of the guardian.  

If, at the conclusion of the hearing, the court orders the removal of the guardian, the court may hold the guardian liable for the petitioner’s attorney fees and court costs.

How to Remove a Guardian in Illinois
Author

Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty

Kevin O’Flaherty is a graduate of the University of Iowa and Chicago-Kent College of Law. He has experience in litigation, estate planning, bankruptcy, real estate, and comprehensive business representation.

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