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What Happens if a Guardian Dies or Becomes Disabled in Illinois? | Appointing a Successor Guardian based on Death or Disability

Article written by Illinois & Iowa Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
January 15, 2020

In this article, we answer the question, “what happens if a guardian dies or becomes disabled in Illinois?” and we explain the process of appointing a successor guardian based on death or disability.  

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

The process for replacing a guardian who is no longer able to fulfill his or her duties due to death or disability depends on whether the guardian was guardian of the person, guardian of the estate or both.  A guardian of the estate is responsible for the financial affairs of the ward.  A guardian of the person is responsible for the physical and emotional well being of the ward.  

If a guardian of the person dies or becomes disabled, a potential successor guardian should file a petition to appoint a successor guardian.  A hearing will be held at which the potential successor must show that the the original guardian is no longer to able fulfill his or her duties due to his or her disability or death. 

The potential successor must also demonstrate that he or she is an appropriate successor guardian for the ward and that appointment of the proposed successor as guardian would be in the best interests of the ward.  

If a guardian if the estate dies or becomes disabled, in addition to the successor guardian following the above procedure that is also required for guardianship of the person, representatives of the original guardian must also file a final account with the guardianship court. 

The final account shows all of the income and disbursements from the estate of the ward that have occurred as well as providing a statement of assets and liabilities.  This account may be prepared by the original guardian’s guardian if he or she is disabled, or by the executor or administrator of the original guardian’s estate or the guardian’s heirs if he or she is deceased.  


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Who becomes guardian if a guardian dies

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