Publications

Articles on Guardians

Subsequent appointment of a plenary guardian does not automatically revoke an existing POA for health care

November
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Absent a written court order explicitly directing a plenary guardian to exercise powers of principal under agency pursuant to the Illinois Power of Attorney Act ("POA Act"), the appointment of a plenary guardian does not automatically revoke an existing POA for health care.

Court’s decision to order contribution for support of disabled adult child reversed for use of improper authority

July
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
A father who was ordered to pay $350 per week to the mother and official guardian of his adult disabled daughter, successfully appealed the trial court's order for its reliance on the Probate Act of 1975 (755 ILCS 5.1-1 et seq.) rather than the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/513.5).

From the Newsletters - Ethics and the GAL

February
2017
Article
Page 41
Because guardians ad litem are protectors, not advocates, they aren't subject to some of the ethical principles that apply to lawyers representing clients.

Duties of a personal guardian under the Probate Act expanded to accommodate the ward’s adult children’s rights

January
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 20
Section 11a-17 of the Probate Act was amended to add a new subsection expanding a guardian's duties to include making reasonable efforts to communicate with a ward's adult children regarding the ward's status.

From the Discussions - Should I open a guardianship for a minor beneficiary of a savings account?

July
2016
Article
Page 43
Do I have to open a guardianship for a minor beneficiary of a savings account?

Looking at how courts use attorneys for children in custody cases

By Matthew Hector
December
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
The way courts use appointed GALs and child reps varies dramatically across the state. A committee of the ISBA Family Law Section Council hopes to bring more uniformity to the system.

Guardians may act as proxies for purposes of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act

November
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 524
Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, if the guardian of a ward's estate or person petitions a court on behalf of the ward, the court may permit the guardian to file for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or declaration of invalidity for the dissolution of a marriage.

Credit report security freeze request now allowed for parents and guardians of minors and disabled persons

April
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 168
The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act has been amended to allow an individual to request a "security freeze" on the credit report of a minor or a disabled person if they meet certain qualifications, and provide proper identification and authority for the request.

I’m a GAL – How Do I Get My Fee?

March
2014
Column
Page 150
ISBA lawyers offer advice about what to do when parents can't or won't pay your fees for serving as guardian ad litem of a child.

No guardian ad litem fees for DCFS. PA 098-0089

September
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 452
Guardianship cases that require the appointment of a guardian ad litem generally require that the petitioner pay for any guardian ad litem fees when the respondent is unable to pay. 755 ILCS 5/11a-10.

New exception to a public guardian’s obligations to a ward. PA 097-1094

April
2013
Illinois Law Update
Page 176
The Probate Act of 1975 has been amended to provide an exception to a public guardian's duty to maintain insurance on the real and personal property belonging to the guardian's ward. 755 ILCS 5/13-5.

Guardianship and Nontraditional Families

By Professor Jeffrey A. Parness
December
2012
Column
Page 660
Family relationships have evolved, and so have guardianships.

Term extensions to temporary guardianship for disabled adults. PA 097-0614

July
2012
Illinois Law Update
Page 352
An amendment has been made to the Probate Act to allow for the extension of temporary guardianship for disabled adults (755 ILCS 5/11a-4).

Absolute immunity for child reps

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2011
LawPulse
Page 490
Immunity from liability is absolute for child representatives working within the scope of their court-appointed duties.

2011 Spring Session Legislative Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2011
Column
Page 392
A summary of key legislation from this year's session.

Introducing the New and Improved Minor Guardianship Statute

By Margaret C. Benson
December
2010
Article
Page 628
An important new amendment to the Illinois Probate Act clarifies when nonparents have standing in minor guardianship cases and otherwise honors the rights of parents while protecting children.

ABCs for GALs

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2010
Article
Page 572
You'd like to serve as a GAL, child rep, or attorney for the child - how do you play this important but challenging role? Seasoned lawyers offer dos, don'ts, and tips.

GALS and cross-cultural custody

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2010
LawPulse
Page 558

Illinois Family Mediations: The Case Against Allowing GALs

By Suzanne J. Schmitz
November
2010
Article
Page 576
Because their presence may hinder family mediation, GALs should be excluded, the author argues.

Greater security of parental rights regarding appointed guardianship. PA 096-1338

October
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 508
The Probate Act of 1975 has been amended to safeguard parental rights. (755 ILCS 5/11-5)

Procedures for sterilization of a ward. PA 096-0272

August
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 400
The Probate Act of 1975 now provides guidelines regarding consent by guardians for the sterilization of a ward. (755 ILCS 5/11a-17.1). 

Illinois allows guardianship assistance agreements for grandparents and other relatives

May
2010
Illinois Law Update
Page 236
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services adopted a new section to its rules regulating state payments to guardians who care for children as foster parents. 

Using guardianship to change school districts? Be wary

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2008
LawPulse
Page 498
Your client wants his kid to go to New Trier schools? Then he'd better move there or be prepared to pony up $18,000-plus in tuition, an ISBA member advises.

You’ve been appointed GAL-now what?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2008
LawPulse
Page 438
Might you be a minor child's court appointed guardian ad litem? If so, here are some pointers from a colleague who's been there.

Permanency Planning: Protecting Children from the Loss of Their Parents

By Sarah Unsicker
December
2007
Article
Page 656
How can Illinois parents plan for the possibility that they will die or otherwise not be there for their children? This article reviews the options.

Ex post facto Medicaid “planning”

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
LawPulse
Page 570
May an agent or guardian shift the principal's assets for Medicaid planning purposes after the principal has become disabled? Yes - but doing so can be expensive.

Of Principals and POAs: When Clients Need Protection from Themselves

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
November
2007
Cover Story
Page 580
What can we do for elderly clients who aren't making good financial decisions because they aren't fully competent?

Terminating Guardianships and Returning Children to Parents: Pitfalls and Possibilities

By Julie M. Harcum
October
2007
Article
Page 542
Is it enough that a parent is "fit, willing, and able," or may a child be returned only if doing so serves his or her "best interest"?

Guardian Ad Litem, Attorney for the Child, Child Representative: How’s the System Working?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2007
Cover Story
Page 352
Eighteen months ago, Illinois redefined the roles of the GAL, child representative, and attorney for the child. How are courts and lawyers coping with the new system?

So you wanna be a child rep…?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
July
2007
LawPulse
Page 342
How do you get appointed? How much can you earn? What about appointees who don't do the job?

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