Standby Guardianship - Illinois

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Who Can Nominate a Standby Guardian

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 755, § 5/11-5.3

A parent, adoptive parent, adjudicated parent whose rights have not been terminated, or legal guardian may designate a standby guardian.

How to Establish a Standby Guardian

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 755, §§ 5/11-5.3; 5/11-10.1

A standby guardian may be designated in any writing, including a will. The designation must be witnessed by two or more credible witnesses who are at least age 18, neither of whom is the person designated as the standby guardian.

Upon the filing of a petition, the court may appoint a standby guardian. Children age 14 and older must be notified of the hearing.

The standby guardian must take an oath or affirmation that he or she will faithfully discharge the duties of guardianship and may be required to file a bond once duties are assumed.

How Standby Authority is Activated

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 755, § 5/11-13.1

The standby guardian shall not have any duties or authority to act until the standby guardian receives knowledge of the following:

  • The death or consent of the minor's parent or parents or guardian
  • The inability of the minor's parent or parents or guardian to make and carry out day-to-day child care decisions concerning the minor

When the triggering event has occurred, the standby guardian has 60 days to file confirming documents and petition the court for guardianship.

Involvement of the Noncustodial Parent

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 755, § 5/11-5.3

The designation of a standby guardian does not affect the rights of the other parent of the child.

The court lacks jurisdiction to proceed on a petition to appoint a guardian if the minor has a living, adoptive, or adjudicated parent whose parental rights have not been terminated, and whose whereabouts are known, and who is willing to assume day-to-day care of the child, unless the parent consents or fails to object after receiving notice of the petition.

Authority Relationship of the Parent and the Standby

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 755, § 5/11-13.1

Once the guardianship has been activated, the standby guardian assumes all duties as guardian of the minor.

Withdrawing Guardianship

Citation: Comp. Stat. Ch. 755, § 5/11-13.1

The authority of the standby guardian may be limited or terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction.