Lawyers for Limited Guardians of Wills, Trusts, and Asset Protection
When you are the limited guardian of a loved one, you bear the responsibility of protecting that person’s assets. Setting up a will, trust, or other asset protection for someone else can seem daunting and complicated.
At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our experienced and caring attorneys can help you handle your unique situation as a guardian. Call us today at (855) 328-5787 to speak with an Illinois limited guardian attorney about how we can guide you through this sensitive situation.
What Is a Limited Guardianship?
Limited guardianship is appropriate when a ward can make some financial or personal decisions, but not all. In a limited guardianship, a court will tailor and personalize the guardianship to the disabled adult’s specific needs. A limited guardian has the same responsibilities as a guardian, including presenting annual reports to the court. A guardian of the estate can have either full guardianship or limited guardianship.
What Is a Guardianship of the Estate?
The powers of a guardian of the estate are established by the Probate Act (755 ILCS 5/11a-18). A guardian of the estate is responsible for overseeing a disabled adult’s or a minor’s financial matters. Depending upon the court order, an estate guardian can protect a ward’s assets through frugal, conservative, and cautious use of the disabled adult’s assets and through setting up their will or trust. A guardian can create or change a ward’s will or a trust with court approval. The guardian must act in the disabled person’s best interest, and the court oversees the guardian to ensure that happens.
Estate guardianship is available for minors. For instance, if a child inherits money or obtains it through a personal injury settlement, the court can appoint a guardian to manage and protect that child’s money until they reach adulthood.
Guardianship of the estate can also be used to protect a disabled or incapacitated adult’s finances. Sadly, an incapacitated adult is sometimes led to change the terms of their will or trust without understanding what they are doing. You can avoid situations like this by obtaining a court estate guardianship order to preserve and protect the person’s assets.
A court can give a guardian of the estate responsibility for budgeting, managing investments, appraising any property, or distributing income or assets. A guardian can take more significant actions with court approval. The guardian must use the ward’s assets for the “suitable support and education” of the ward and their dependent children, if applicable.
The first step that an estate guardian must take is to prepare and file an inventory of the ward’s assets. The completed inventory is a document that the guardian swears lists all the real estate, business interests, property, bank accounts, and cash the disabled adult owns. It should also list large items like cars, boats, valuable artwork, or jewelry. The estate guardian must file the inventory with the court within 60 days of being appointed guardian.
The guardian must also give an account to the court of their actions in an annual report. And the guardian can hire counsel and otherwise represent the ward in legal proceedings. An estate guardian must file that yearly report with the court within 30 days of the anniversary of their appointment. Our guardian attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC can help you with the process of the inventory and all reporting requirements.
What Actions of the Guardian of the Estate Require Court Approval?
A guardian of the estate can engage in routine financial management and investment without specific court approval. But the guardian must obtain court approval before doing certain things. These actions include the following:
- Making gifts of either income or principal
- Conveying or disclaiming interests in property, including marital property
- Releasing themselves as the guardian
- Entering into contracts for the ward
- Creating trusts for the disabled adult’s property that may extend beyond the life or disability of the disabled adult
- Exercise stock options
- Make specific changes to life insurance, annuities, and retirement plans
- Change the ward’s residence
- Change the disabled adult’s will or trust
- Selling or mortgaging real estate
Why Do You Need a Lawyer?
It would be best to have an attorney to help prevent something terrible from happening rather than try to react and fix the problem after it happens. If your loved one is vulnerable to making an inappropriate decision about their finances, you should talk with an attorney about obtaining full or limited guardianship of the estate.
We can address the vulnerabilities and risks with you while offering solutions for managing and preventing those risks. Obtaining a limited guardianship is much cheaper and less harrowing than trying to prosecute and correct financial exploitation after it has occurred.
Why Should I Choose Peck Ritchey, LLC?
Seeking full or partial guardianship of the estate for a loved one can seem like an overwhelming process and responsibility. We can help take that weight off your shoulders. Peck Ritchey, LLC is client-focused, and we want each client to feel that we have earned their trust. We attribute our many positive client testimonials to our commitment to excellence, compassion, and communication.
Our legal team at Peck Ritchey, LLC cares about our clients and has a deep and wide breadth of knowledge and experience that we can put into action. While your situation is unique, our attorneys have walked other clients through similar situations. And we can use those skills to provide a reasoned approach to handling your matter.
Contact Peck Ritchey, LLC Today for Help with Your Limited Guardianship
If you think your loved one may need a guardian to protect their assets, you need to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Illinois guardianship attorney from Peck Ritchey, LLC. We want to help guide you through this complex process and get you and your loved one set up for a successful guardianship. Call (855) 328-5787 to set up a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case with a Peck Ritchey, LLC attorney. Let us help.