Can the guardian change the life insurance beneficiaries after they recieve guardianship?
It is possible for a legal guardian or conservator of the estate to sign a Beneficiary Designation form on behalf of a participant. The answer will depend on the order and powers granted to the guardian by the court.
There are different types of Guardians. A Personal Guardian tends to the personal care of the ward, while an Estate Guardian is the guardian of a persons estate (real estate, personal property, money, and the like). One person can be guardian of both, or separate guardians may be appointed. A Personal Guardian is given custody of the disabled person or minor, this person often being called the ward. Such a guardian has a duty to take care of the ward. He/she will decide where the ward will live. He/she cannot place the ward in a nursing home or other residential facility unless specifically given that authority by the Court. The guardian is responsible for the ward’s support, care, comfort, health, maintenance and placement, if appropriate, in an educational program; all from the ward’s income and assets. The guardian is to see that the ward gets the medical, dental, grooming, and other professional services that the ward needs. The law requires that the guardian “assist the ward in the development of maximum self-reliance and independence”.
The guardian is not required to spend his/her own money for any of these expenses. The guardian is may be responsible for seeking the money needed from the ward’s income and assets. If the guardian spends more or incur debts greater that the ward’s estate can afford, he/she may be held personally responsible for those amounts. If the ward does not have enough money to pay for what is needed, it is the guardian’s responsibility to apply for government assistance programs that may help pay for these services.
If the Court so directs, the guardian is will also have the responsibility of making reports to it. These reports shall specifically address points required by Illinois law. If the ward has enough money, the guardian can be paid for serving as guardian. The guardian’s bill for services must be supported by careful records and approved by the Court.
The estate of the ward is everything the ward owns. It includes land, money, bank accounts, furniture, cars, clothes . . . everything. The guardian’s responsibility over this property may be defined or limited by the order appointing the guardian. An estate guardian has the duty to take care of, manage, and invest the ward’s estate. He/she must take care of the ward’s estate and be frugal, conservative and cautious. The Court may authorize the guardian to spend the ward’s money for the comfort, support and education of the ward, as well as certain expenses of the ward’s family.
The guardian may be able to sell some of the ward’s property to pay for the ward’s care, but he/she will need a Court order to do so. The guardian may not treat the ward’s property as his/her own. The guardian must keep his/her money separate from that of the ward. The guardian can be forced to pay for any mismanagement or fraudulent use of the ward’s estate. The guardian should establish a new, FDIC fully-insured checking account to pay for the ward’s expenses. It should be titled: Estate of “ward’s name”, “guardian’s name”, Guardian. The ward’s Social Security number should be used on this account.
The guardian must keep a careful record of all transactions involving any of the ward’s property. This can range from balancing the checkbook to hiring an accountant at the estate’s expense. Every bill that is paid and all money that is received on behalf of the ward periodically must be reported periodically to the Court.; To be able to identify the source of money received when the time for accounting comes, it can be helpful to describe the source of the money on the bank deposit ticket.