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Donna L Otis

Donna Otis’s Answers

13 total


  • I need legal advice on my custodial/guardianship rights

    my daughter is court ordering my guarianship rights be revoked on the grandchild I have had since birth, she is living with bioloogical father but nothing to do with child, cause he already pays child supporot on 3 kids, my daughter has seen the c...

    Donna’s Answer

    My initial advice is to obtain an attorney to represent you in the proceeding to terminate your guardianship of your grandchild. A parent can request at any time that the Court terminate a guardianship. However, the parent will have to show that they are now capable of taking care of the child. In Cook County probate court, a Guardian Ad Litem would be appointed who would represent the best interest of the child and investigate the pending petition. A home study and background check would be required of all parties.

    Even though you have guardianship the parent is most often granted visitation, even if supervised, unless it can be shown it is not in the best interest of the child. Unless a determination of paternity has occurred for the father, he would not have standing to petition to terminate the guardianship. However, if he is living in the home with your daughter the Court may require a background check of him as well.

    As I stated in the initial sentence, I recommend you contact a local attorney who is familiar with contested guardianship proceedings to represent you.

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  • How do I get my 13 year old daughter back?

    When my husband died, my eldest daughter age 31 went to probate court in Cook County Illinois and got the judge to award her permanent guardianship. I am a functioning mother. How do I get my 13 year old back to me? Cook County Illinois only ...

    Donna’s Answer

    You stated in your comment that the court granted your daughter "permanent guardianship" of your minor child. Guardianship is not permanent and you can petition to terminate or modify the guardianship. Usually to terminate or modify guardianship, you must be able to show that you are capable of caring for the minor.

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  • How do I obtain a copy of a legal guardianship court order?

    A friend of ours, who is 19, is applying for financial aid for college. The financial aid office needs a copy of the legal guardianship court document. Her aunt had guardianship of her, but she no longer lives with her and is estranged from her.

    Donna’s Answer

    If you are aware of what Circuit Court handled the guardianship, you can contact the circuit court clerk and ask for the division which handles guardianships, usually the probate diviision, and provide your friend's name. The Court will be able to advise you if the case file is available and how to obtain a copy of the Court order.

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  • Do I need a lawyer to vacate a guardianship order?

    If a child is in a co-guaridanship with the maternal & paternal grandparents can the mother file an order to vacate the guardianship order & what would it take to do this?! The co-guardianship has been in place since the child was 3 months old & h...

    Donna’s Answer

    The mother would need to file a Petition to Terminate Guardianship and at a Court hearing be able to show that she is now capable of taking care of her child. The Court will generally ask for proof of income, residence, and will perform a background check. It may be helpful to hire an attorney in your area to assist with terminating the guardianship.

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  • I had taken guardianship away from parents in ny. Then I got deathly ill,i gave guardianship over to my sister.How do i get back

    We both live in florida and she would like to give guardianship back to me. I have raised this child since she was born.

    Donna’s Answer

    In order to end an existing guardianship, you would need to file a Petition to Terminate Guardianship. It may be helptful to obtain an attorney in Florida who is familiar with guardianships.

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  • My mother has been deceased now over 5 years and I am trying to find out, how to transfer her property into my name?

    No will was left and maintained taxes on the property since the death.

    Donna’s Answer

    In order to determine, how to transfer the property into your name you should consult a probate attorney.

    For your general informaton, since your mother died without a will, she died intestate which means her assets will pass according to the laws of intestacy which are defined in Illinois statute, 755 ILCS 5/2-1. If your mother died with a husband and descendants, her estate when be transfered 50% to her husband and the other 50% divided equally among living descendants. If no husband at the time of her death, your mother's assets would be transfered equally among her living children or grandchildren of deceased children.

    Additionally, another option which may be available is a Deed in Lieu of probate in which a title company would create new deeds.

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  • What is the statute of limitations for filing a will etc in Illinois?

    My father passed away, a year ago, in Sept 2010 - and I was told one can hold off, almost indefinitely, unless we want to sell his property. Is this true?

    Donna’s Answer

    In Illinois, Illinois statute 755 ILCS 5/6-1 Duty to file will - altering, destroying or secreting, states immediately upon the death of the testator any person who has the testator's will in his possession shall file it with the clerk of the court of the property county. Illinois statute 5/6-3 extends the law and provides an executor must within 30 days after acquiring knowledge he is named as executor of the will of a deceased person, he shall institute a proceeding to have the will admitted to probate in the court of the property county or declare his refusal to act as executor.

    The Will must be filed but a determination of if a probate is necessary should be made in consultation with an attorney including if it is appropriate to wait to open a probate estate.

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  • Do you have to renew a claim againest an estate every 5 years

    Everything is sold, and now waiting 3 plus years to settle my claim. Someone said you have to renew a claim after 5 years. Is this true in IL.? thanks

    Donna’s Answer

    I would advise you to contact the probate court and determine if the estate is still open. If you properly filed a claim and the claim was allowed, you should receive notice before any distribution. You should immediately determine the status of your claim and consider hiring a probate attorney to assist. It is not necessary to renew a claim if claim was filed or notice given to the attorney or estate representative by the deadline.

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  • I want to file for Guardianship of my dad. Do I have to notify my mother (his wife) that I am fileing. She was his payee and was

    removed by social security for mis using his funds. I am now his payee and I am going to be bringing him home from nursing home to live with me. My mother has not been to see him more than 2or 3 times in 2 1/2 years. I would like to do this withou...

    Donna’s Answer

    I would consult with an attorney in your area familiar with Guardianship. I am an attorney in Illinois. In Illinois, notice when have to be given to all interested parties and therefore your mother would have to receive notice of the guardianship proceeding.

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  • My mother die becasue of medical negligence, i was awarded guardianship of him because he was 13 when my mother passed away, if

    we settle out of court. what happens to the money am 27 and he is now 14.

    Donna’s Answer

    I suggest you review the settlement agreement you signed to settle out of Court and consult an attorney if you have any questions. Typically, depending on the size of the settlement the minor's award may have to be administered through the guardianship case and may require you to obtain a bond and be appointed as guardian of the estate.

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