Some individuals suddenly find themselves with huge responsibilities, such as acting as an agent, guardian, estate administrator or trustee, but with little training or preparation. However, they are required to make fiduciary decisions which can be challenged in court. We will guide these individuals on the process of gathering appropriate information, making a decision based on that information, and properly recording, in writing, each decision.
“Whenever a power is exercised, the agent shall act in good faith for the benefit of the
principal using due care, competence, and diligence in accordance with
the terms of the agency and shall be liable for negligent exercise."
- from Illinois Compiled Statutes, 755 ILCS 45/2-7(a)
Do I Need to GUIDANCE with my decisions?
If you an agent named through a Durable Power of Attorney for Property and/or Health contract governed by Illinois law, and you believe that the principal suffers from diminished mental capacity, then you now seemingly have authority to make decisions about the property or health of that principal, but do you understand that if the principal has not been officially declared to be disabled then he or she can sue you, that you might be personally liable for negligent decisions (that is a purposely loose term of art), and that under Illinois law, other "interested parties" can petition the court to remove you as the agent for the incapacitated principal?
If you are a guardian who has been appointed by an Illinois judge to make decisions over the property or health of an Illinois resident who has been officially declared to be disabled, do you understand exactly what issues and concerns the judge requires you to balance when you make these decisions and then how you need to report your decisions back to the court?
Are you the administrator of the estate of a deceased individual and need to deal with the Illinois probate hearings, such as providing any documents or information that is requested by the court and complying with the the judge’s instructions on the distribution of assets, and then, at the end of the ordeal, you will need to file appropriate federal and state tax reporting forms?
Trustee or Having a Power Over a Trust
Are you serving as a trustee or co-trustee of a trust, or have been given certain powers, such as the power to monitor and replace actual trustees or beneficiaries, or have any other relationship with a trust where you need to make decisions?