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Illinois Probate Act 755 ILCS 5/24-21: Deposit or Investment of Money of a Ward, Subject to Court Order

A guardian is a representative of a minor or a representative of a person under legal disability. Such a person is referred to as a “ward.” A ward needs a representative because the ward does not have the legal capacity to care for him or herself, or to care for his or her assets. A ward’s assets are his (or her) estate. Thus, the role of a representative is to make decisions on how to care for the estate of the ward in a responsible manner for the benefit of the ward. The representative’s actions are overseen by the Probate Court. Because the state has an interest in making sure that representatives handle estates of wards properly, there are many rules related to a representative’s duties and responsibilities. Failure to understand and follow these rules may result in damage to the ward’s estate and liability on the part of the representative. If you are a representative of a ward or another interested party, and you have questions or concerns related to the management of the estate of a ward, including the requirements of Illinois Probate Act, section 24-21- Deposit or investment of money of a ward, subject to court order, contact a skilled Chicago estate administration attorney at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who has the experience and resources to help ensure that the estate is managed in a manner that is consistent with Illinois law.

Who May act as a Representative

Before someone can legally serve as the representative of a ward’s estate, the person must petition the Chicago area Probate Court that has jurisdiction over the ward’s estate. Upon approval, the court will issue the representative a document called “letters” as evidence of legal authority to manage the ward’s estate.

Illinois has specific requirements as to who may serve as a representative of the estate of a minor or disabled individual. The individual must be 18 years old or older and a United States resident. In addition, if the person is mentally incapacitated or has a disability as defined by law, that person would not eligible to serve as guardian. Generally, convicted felons are also ineligible. If you have questions about qualifying to serve as a representative, contact an experienced Chicago estate administration lawyer.

Deposit or Investment of Money of a Ward, Subject to Court Order

Under Illinois law, there are specific rules related to the deposit or invest of the money that is part of a ward’s estate. Under Illinois Probate Act, section 24-21- Deposit or investment of money of a ward, subject to court order, the ward’s representative must follow these rules if the ward’s estate includes only money the representative of the ward’s estate must petition the court as follows:

  • Bank deposit. The representative may request that the ward’s money be deposited into a bank account, but only up to the amount that is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. In order to protect a ward’s estate from loss, amounts deposited that are in excess of the amount insured must be secured by a surety bond.
  • Savings account. The representative may request that the ward’s money be deposited into a state or federal savings and loan association but only up to the amount that is insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation. In order to protect a ward’s estate from loss, amounts deposited that are in excess of the amount insured must be secured by a surety bond.
  • United States obligations. The representative may request that the ward’s money be deposited in a bank or trust company qualified to accept and execute trusts in this State,
  • Credit union. The representative may request that the ward’s money be invested in shares of a state or federal credit union. As with amounts deposited with banks or savings and loans, the representative must protect the uninsured portion of monies invested with credit unions with a surety bond.

As an experienced estate administration attorney will explain, the ward’s money that has been deposited or invested by the representative for the ward may be released upon the occurrence of one of the following conditions: a court order, the ward reaches the age of majority or upon restoration, or to the representative of the ward in case of his death.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Appointment of standby guardian: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/11-5.3
  2. Short-term guardian: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/11-5.4
  3. Appointment of guardian: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/11-5
  4. Interest of administrator of veterans affairs: Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/24-22
Illinois Probate Act, Section 24-21- Deposit or Investment of Money of a Ward, Subject to Court Order

(a) If the estate of a ward consists only of money, on the petition of the representative of the estate or of the representative of an estate of which the ward is a legatee or heir, or of any other interested person, or on its own motion, the court may, if it appears practicable and to the best interests of the ward to do so, order the money (1) deposited in a bank to the credit of the ward at interest or otherwise but, unless otherwise authorized by the court, only to an amount not exceeding the amount for which it is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or (2) deposited in any state or federal savings and loan association but, unless otherwise authorized by the court, only to an amount not exceeding the amount for which it is insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or (3) invested in United States obligations and deposited for safekeeping for the account of the ward in a bank or trust company qualified to accept and execute trusts in this State, or with the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States or in a Federal Reserve Bank or in such other agency as may be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury, or (4) invested in shares of any state or federal credit union to the credit of the ward at interest or otherwise to an amount not exceeding the amount for which said shares are insured as required by The Illinois Credit Union Act or the Federal Credit Union Act, as applicable. The receipt of the bank or trust company constitutes a voucher for accounting purposes. Amounts deposited pursuant to clauses (1), (2) and (4) herein, in excess of the amount insured by the United States or any agency thereof shall be secured by a surety bond taken from a surety authorized to transact business in this State in such sum, under such conditions and with such security sufficient to save the estate from loss.

(b) If a representative of the estate has been appointed for a ward, the court may direct the representative to file a final account and excuse him from further duty and release him and the sureties on his bond, until further order of court.

(c) On the petition of the spouse, parent or person standing in loco parentis to or having responsibility for the custody or support of the ward, the court may order any money so deposited or invested to be withdrawn and used for the comfort, support, education or other benefit of the ward or his dependents. The petitioner shall appear in open court unless his appearance is excused by the court and shall furnish such evidence of the necessity for the withdrawal as the court may require. The bank of deposit or agency for safekeeping shall be released in making payment or delivery (1) in accordance with the order of the court, (2) directly to the ward upon his attaining legal age or restoration, as the case may be, or (3) directly to the representative of the ward in case of his death, and in any such case it may not be required to see to the application or disposition of the funds or property.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The skilled estate administration attorneys serving Chicago at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients in a wide range of estate matters, and understand the requirements of the Illinois Probate Act, section 24-21- Deposit or investment of money of a ward, subject to court order. If you have questions or concerns related to the duties and responsibilities of a representative with respect to the estate of a ward, or any other estate matter, contact an attorney in our office at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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