FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About A Private Guardian:
Q: What is a Private Guardian?
A: A Private Guardian is a person who is lawfully invested with the power and duty of taking care of an individual and/or the individualís property. This occurs when a request for guardianship is made and it is determined that a person is not capable of administrating his/her own affairs. A Private Guardianís services are utilized when there is no family, family members are ill, or out of the area, elderly, or there are other circumstances that prevent their effective performance as guardian. In some situations, family or friends have exploited or neglected the person and would not be suitable to serve.
Q: Is estate property ever sold?
A: Yes, however, a Guardian must get an appraisal for the property and do everything in his power to receive a fair market value for the real estate. The property must be sold with the Courtís approval and only if the sale will benefit caring for the disabled, such as, if an estate is insolvent or has insufficient cash assets to pay creditors, taxes and fees. If an estate is solvent and has sufficient cash, heirs are given the opportunity to select estate assets that they want to receive in place of cash. If real property is vacant it usually is sold as soon as possible. If an heir wishes to receive real property as part of his/her distribution, he/she should make such wishes known and reach an agreement with the Guardian as soon as possible.
Q: Is Mr. Vogler an attorney?
A: No, he is a professional business man with more than 25 years experience directly related to Guardianship matters. Legal matters are handled by a consistent group of attorneys who specialize in probate.
Q: If I am the Guardian, can I be personally liable for the disabled personís bills?
A: You are not personally liable for their bills, but, as the Guardian you are responsible to notify creditors and to pay the ongoing bills with the funds available in their estate.
Q: Can I place someone in a nursing home?
A: Yes, as a Court Appointed Guardian and with the Probate Courtís authority. Keep in mind that your first responsibility is to the disabled person and you should respect their wishes to the best of your ability.
Q: Does a Guardian have to listen to the demands of family or friends?
A: No. A Guardian must always do what is in the best interest of the disabled person. The guardianís relationship with a wardís family or friends should be based solely on the recognition of their contribution to enhance the quality of life for the disabled.
Q: Who pays the Private Guardian?
A: The Guardian is paid by the disabled personís Estate after the Court has reviewed and found the services rendered are recommendable.
Q: Is the Private Guardian bonded?
A: Yes, the Guardian carries a personal bond.
Q: Does the Guardian have any responsibility to the disabled personís family?
A. The Guardian is to give written notice to the family of all Court matters concerning the disabled person. The family can also be notified by phone or in person as long as it is in the best interest of the ward.
Q: What takes precedence, a Guardianship or Power of Attorney?
A: If the Power of Attorney was in place prior to the Guardianship, the Power of Attorney is the legal instrument to follow, except in cases where the Courtís authority revokes or suspends its power.
Q: Does the disabled personís money go to the State of Illinois?
A: No. An inventory of all the assets in the disabled personís estate is compiled and filed with the Court within 60 days from the date of the Guardianís appointment. This Inventory sets the general framework for how the person will be cared for by the Guardian with that personís funds.
Q: Is an appointment of a Guardian forever?
A: A Guardianís appointment ceases at the time of the disabled personís death or if the disabled person is restored by the Courtís Order. There may also be a Successor Guardian appointed if the serving Guardian becomes ill, resigns, or dies.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQís) About A Private Administrator:
Q: How does the Private Administrator get involved with a decedent case?
A: The Private Administrator may be notified of a death by a family member, hospital, residential facility, a landlord, private citizen or the Coroner/Medical Examiner. This notification usually occurs when there are no known relatives, the relatives do not want to serve, or cannot be immediately located.
Q: How does one report such a case?
A: Please contact our office if you have questions or are concerned about a recent death. Use our Contact Us link to locate our address, phone number and other contact information.
Q: Is Mr. Vogler an attorney?
A: No, he is a professional business man with more than 25 years experience directly related to Administrator and Guardianship matters.
Q: Is the Private Administrator Bonded?
A: Yes, the Administrator carries a personal bond.
Q: What are the primary duties of the Private Administrator?
A: The duties of the Private Administrator include:
Protect the decedentís property from waste, loss or theft; search for relatives and/or a Will; make arrangements for the funeral and burial of the decedent; conduct a thorough investigation to discover all assets; ensure that the estate is administered according to the decedentís Will or the laws of the State of Illinois; pay the outstanding bills and taxes of the decedent; and research all estate benefits and make sure they are applied for and received by the estate.
Q: Should an heir hire an attorney to represent their interests?
A: The rights of heirs and/or legatees are fixed by law. However, if your rights to inherit are not clear, or are challenged, or substantial claims are made against the estate, you would be advised to retain legal counsel to represent your interests. The fees for such legal representation are your obligation and are not payable by the estate. Probate Court allows a person to appear Pro Se which means on their own behalf. Although if you choose not to have representation the burden for understanding and filing documents required by the Court will rest solely on you.
Q: Who can make a claim against the Estate?
A: Anyone who was owed money by the decedent at the time of death must file a Creditorís Claim with the Court against the Estate in order to receive payment from the Estate. The Private Administrator, as personal representative, notifies all known creditors that they must file a claim within the statutory period, (which is six months).