GUARDIANSHIP PROCEDURES
      A guardian may be a temporary guardian, designated guardian, successor guardian, or a
testamentary guardian. Upon showing of necessity for the welfare and protection of a disabled
person, a temporary guardian may be appointed for 60 days, or until a guardian is regularly
appointed, whichever comes first.  755 ILCS 5/11a-4.  

      A person may designate an individual to be their guardian in the event of a later
adjudication of disability.  755 ILCS 5/11a-6. This designation is subject to court approval.

      In the event of death, resignation, or removal of a guardian, a successor may be
appointed.  755 ILCS 5/11a-15.

      Finally a parent may by will designate a guardian for a disabled child.  755 ILCS 5/11a-16.

Guardian Qualifications.  

      A person over age 18 who is a resident of the United States, is not of unsound mind, has
not been adjudicated a disabled person, and has not been convicted of a felony may be
appointed as guardian of the person if the court finds the individual to be capable of providing
an active and suitable program of guardianship for the disabled person. 755 ILCS 5/11a-5(a).
A public agency or not-for-profit corporation found capable of providing an active and suitable
program of guardianship may serve as guardian of the person or estate, but the agency may
not directly provide residential services to the ward.  755 ILCS 5/11a-5(b).

      A corporation qualified to accept and execute trusts in Illinois may serve as guardian of
the estate. 755 ILCS 5/11a-5(c).

Preparation of Documents.

      a.        Probate Division Cover Sheet, Form CCP 199.

      This should be self-explanatory. The clerk will require this form along with Form CCP 200
and the filing fee to initiate the guardianship proceeding.

      b.        Petition for Appointment of Guardianship for Disabled Person, Form CCP 200.

      Generally the petition must include:

    (1)        the relationship and interest of the petitioner;

    (2)        the name, date of birth, and place of residence of the respondent;

    (3)        the reasons for the guardianship;

    (4)        the name and post office address of the respondent’s guardian, if any;

    (5)        the names and post office addresses of the nearest relatives of the respondent
    in the following order:

    (a)        the spouse and adult children, if any; if none,

    (b)        the parents and adult brothers and sisters, if any; if none,

    (c)        the nearest adult kindred known to the petitioner;

    (6)        the name and address of the person with whom or the facility in which the
    respondent is residing;

    (7)        the approximate value of the personal and real estate;

    (8)        the amount of the anticipated annual gross income and other receipts; and

    (9)        the name, post office address, and in case of an individual, the age and
    occupation of the proposed guardian.

      Form CCP 200 is not boilerplate and must be carefully read. All required blanks need to
be filled in and all inapposite statements must be stricken. This will vary from case to case and
you must understand the reasons behind the various moving parts of this form to efficiently
proceed with your guardianship case.

Physician’s Report, Form CCP 211.

   You do not need Form CCP 211 to file your guardianship with the Clerk. However you do
need to use the language of the physician in paragraph 3 of Form CCP 200, and then again in
your order appointing your guardian. Form CCP 211 must be a sworn statement from a
licensed physician specifying the nature and extent of the person’s disabilities. You cannot
have a guardian appointed without such a report. While you may not be able to acquire this
report before filing your guardianship, you should make every effort to do so in order to
proceed efficiently. This report must include:

    (1)        a description of the nature and type of the respondent’s disability;

    (2)        evaluations (performed within three months of the date of the filing of the
    petition) of the respondent’s mental and physical condition and, when appropriate,
    educational condition, adaptive behavior, and social skills;

    (3)        an opinion on whether guardianship is needed, the type and scope of the
    guardianship needed, and the reasons it is needed;

    (4)        a recommendation for the most suitable living arrangement and, when
    appropriate, treatment or habilitation plan for the respondent, and the reasons for this
    recommendation; and
    (5)        the signatures of all persons who performed the evaluations upon which the
    report is based, one of whom shall be a licensed physician.  755 ILCS 5/11a-9.

   The physician’s report is generally sealed.  755 ILCS 5/11a-9(c). If the evaluation cannot
otherwise be obtained, the court may order preparation. 755 ILCS 5/11a-9(b). This case might
arise if the respondent refuses to cooperate.  

Summons For Appointment of Guardian For Disabled Person, Form CCP 201.

   Summons must be served on the respondent and notice must be sent to his nearest adult
relatives. In some jurisdictions the probate clerk prepares the summons as a matter of course.  
In Cook County you should prepare Form CCP 201 before you file your case. Once you file
your case, you will be assigned to a courtroom.

   Once you file your petition you must go to the clerk in your assigned courtroom and get your
hearing date. Generally you will not want that date to be less than about 30 days to give the
Sheriff time to serve the respondent, invoke the jurisdiction of the court, and to give the
Guardian ad Litem (GAL) time to do his or her job. When you approach the Clerk you will also
need an Order Appointing a Guardian as Litem for an Alleged Disabled Person, Form CCP
209. You must hand this to the judge’s clerk with the caption completed (you get the case
number when you file the case). The Court will issue the order appointing and notify you of the
appointment. You will want to call the GAL and coordinate with him or her.

   After you get the court date, you must complete your Summons and proceed to the Sheriff,
on the 7th floor. You will need a copy of your Petition for the Sheriff, and several copies of
your summons. Place the summons with the Sheriff.

Oath and Bond of Representative-Surety, Form CCP 312, and Oath and Bond of
Representative-No Surety, Form CCP 313.

   The proposed guardian must execute an oath of office affirming that he or she “will faithfully
discharge the duties of his office according to the law.”  755 ILCS 5/12-2. You may or may not
require a bond.

   Upon appointment the guardian must post bond in the amount of 1 ½ times the value of the
personal property in the estate, if a public surety company acts as surety, or 2 times the value
of the personal property if the an individual acts as surety.  755 ILCS 5/12-5.

   You will want to have your client sign more than one copy of both forms at the time your
client signs the petition. If you have property in the estate, you will want to have your
bondsman issue the bond before you go to court. Otherwise you find yourself in the awkward
position of trying to chase down the bond and return it to the courtroom before everyone goes
to lunch.

Order of Appointing Plenary Guardian for Disabled Person, Form CCP 204.

   As you can see on Form CCP 204, the order tracks your petition. If everything turns out as
you expect, you will be able to go straight down the line and fill in the Order exactly as you
prepared your petition.

   If you hit a bump in the road, you will need to practice law as this litigation can be complex
and technical.

   Note that part of the order will be a date for your inventory and then another date to
account. You can use Form CCP 334 for your Inventory.

Hearing.

   Your petitioner, the one who wishes to assume the office of guardian over the respondent,
must appear at all hearings unless you get leave of Court for that person to not appear. When
you obtain a guardianship over someone you are essentially depriving that person of some of
their liberties. The judges are keenly aware of this and they take their responsibilities seriously.

   The GAL represents the Court. You should obtain a copy of the GAL’s report before you
step up for the hearing and, if you have prepared, you should then know exactly what to
expect.

   If the alleged disabled person objects to the guardianship, they may appear or they may not
appear. If the GAL believes that the need exists for a guardianship they may come out and say
as much in their report. However if the alleged disabled person contests the matter and the
GAL has stated that the alleged disabled person needs the guardian, they may not
subsequently represent the disabled person.

   If the GAL believes that the need exists for the guardian, they may make no comment in
their report and then request to be appointed at the initial hearing.