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The Guardian Appointment Act and the Future of Guardianship Law for Minors

The Guardian Appointment Act and the Future of Guardianship Law for Minors

In 2024, Illinois plans to make significant changes to the Probate Act of 1975 including adopting the Guardian Appointment Act. The Guardianship Appointment Act or GAA is a new piece of legislation that says no petition for the appointment of a guardian of a minor can be filed if the primary purpose is to reduce the financial resources available to the minor in order to qualify for financial aid. To read the legislation about the Guardian Appointment Act click HERE.

The GAA was passed in response to a scandal where adults were consensually giving up custody of their children to other family members or friends with lower income statuses. The purpose of these guardianships was to then help the minors qualify for financial aid from public or private institutions such as universities or elite high schools both at the federal and state levels. The scandal also included families filing petitions so that the minor would have financial independence and ultimately receive need based financial aid.

Essentially, the guardianships were a strategy that wealthy families used to scam the government and the education system into receiving scholarship opportunities. The Guardian Appointment Act impacts guardianship law by setting a higher standard by which minors are put under guardianships. The GAA signifies that judges are going to dig into the facts of each case to ensure a guardianship is truly needed before appointing someone in charge of a minor without good reason.

As 2024 brings changes to the Probate Act of 1975, it is important to touch base with your attorneys to ensure you understand how your circumstances may be impacted.