What Happens if a Guardian Dies?

When Does a Guardianship End in Illinois?

578623770
Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
August 2, 2019

In this article we will explain the different ways that a guardianship can end in Illinois.  Since guardianship is a court-appointed order, only an order from a court can end or modify an existing guardianship. However, there are instances when a guardianship may end without court involvement. We will explain what happens if a guardian dies, what happens to a guardianship if the ward dies, what happens if a guardian resigns, “when does a guardianship of a minor end?”, and “how can guardianship of an incapacitated adult end?

What Happens if a Guardian Dies?

Death of either the guardian or the ward can bring an immediate end to the guardianship. In the case of the guardian’s death, a Petition for Successor Guardianship is required to ask the court to appoint a new guardian for the ward, if necessary. An emergency guardianship may also be initiated during this time to ensure the ward, whether minor or adult, is receiving the proper care between the time that the original guardian dies and the time that a new permanent guardian is appointed.

What Happens to a Guardianship if the Ward Dies?

If the ward dies, the guardian’s responsibilities immediately terminate and the guardian may not make any further expenditures from the ward’s assets, if that was part of the guardian’s role as appointed by the court. Manners such as funeral arrangements are typically handled by the family and are not considered a guardian’s responsibility upon the death of the ward.

What Happens if a Guardian Resigns?

If a guardian becomes incapable or is no longer willing to perform their duties as guardian, he or she may ask the court’s permission to step down. A court hearing will be scheduled for the resignation of the guardian, and a notice of time, place and date must be sent to those who were notified when the guardianship was first appointed.  Upon a guardian’s resignation, a successor guardian will be appointed to assume the decision-making and other care responsibilities of the ward.

‍When Does a Guardianship End in Illinois?

When Does Guardianship of a Minor End?

A guardianship of a minor comes to an end when the child becomes of legal age (18). As mentioned earlier, the death of the minor can also be the cause of an end to the guardianship. In some instances, a judge may determine that guardianship of the minor is no longer necessary, thus ending the guardianship.

The parents of the minor have the right to petition with the court to have the guardianship of their child terminated. This is called a Petition to Discharge.  The parent(s) must provide sufficient evidence that they are capable of providing the necessary care for the child. For more on the Petition to Discharge, check out our article, “Can the Guardianship Arrangement Be Challenged?

How Can Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult End?

The guardianship of an incapacitated adult can come to an end in three primary ways: the death of the ward or guardian, resignation of the guardian, or the restoration of the ward’s rights, meaning the ward has overcome his or her disability that required guardianship and is now capable of providing their own care.

Restoring a ward’s rights is accomplished through a process similar to the appointment of the guardian.   The person seeking to restore the ward’s rights must file a petition with the court with jurisdiction over the guardianship, provide notice to the proper parties,  and then present evidence at a court hearing to demonstrate that the court-appointed guardianship should be terminated. This process is discussed more in depth in our article, “Can the Guardianship Arrangement Be Challenged?”.

Contact us for an appoinment

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our offices in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, St. Charles, Lake in the Hills and Tinley Park, Illinois.

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Special Needs Planning

Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you