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10/18/89 In Re Estate of Hazel M. Moore

October 18, 1989

IN RE ESTATE OF HAZEL M. MOORE, A DISABLED PERSON (WILLIAM


APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

Moore, Appellant, v.

Jacqueline May Gulbrandsen, Appellee)

545 N.E.2d 816, 189 Ill. App. 3d 920, 137 Ill. Dec. 163 1989.IL.1644

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County; the Hon. S. Keith Lewis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE WOODWARD delivered the opinion of the court. UNVERZAGT, P.J., and DUNN, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOODWARD

William Moore (William) appeals from the order of August 9, 1988, which discharged Jacqueline May Gulbrandsen (Jacqueline) as plenary guardian of the estate of Hazel Moore, a disabled person; the August 9, 1988, approval of Jacqueline's final account; and the order of November 3, 1988, which denied William's motion to vacate the August 9, 1988, orders. At issue is whether Jacqueline's final report was sufficient to fulfill her duty to account for her administration of the estate.

This matter arises from the estate of Hazel M. Moore. On October 8, 1985, Jacqueline, Hazel's daughter, filed a petition to appoint herself as guardian of her mother's person and estate. The petition listed the approximate value of the estate as $30,000 in personal property, $80,000 in real property, and anticipated gross annual income of $11,000. The petition was granted on November 1, 1985. On December 31, 1987, Hazel died. Jacqueline was appointed executor of the decedent's estate in a separate proceeding. Said appointment has no bearing on this appeal, which only addresses the plenary guardian's final account.

No inventory or annual report was ever filed by Jacqueline, who presented her final account to the court on August 9, 1988. The final account is a five-page document, which lists receipts and disbursements for four bank accounts, one with Gary-Wheaton Bank and three with Du Page Trust Bank. A recapitulation is shown for each account. The first account shows total deposits of $65,447.97 and total disbursements of $63,688.99, for an ending balance of $1,758.98. The second account shows a total of $2,121.51 deposits and disbursements with a zero final balance. The third shows $19,702.33 receipts and disbursements with a zero final balance. The fourth account shows deposits of $26,932.79 and disbursements of $24,502.23, for an ending balance of $2,430.56. The transfers between the accounts are included as deposits and disbursements. There is a figure of total remaining cash from all deposits of $4,189.54, which equals the sum of the ending balance in the first and fourth bank accounts. Also, various shares of stocks in Commonwealth Edison Company, AT & T, and the Baby Bells were listed in the final account as assets of the estate.

William, son of Hazel Moore and Jacqueline's brother, appeared through his counsel. He informed the court that he had just received the report the day before and needed time to review it before the final orders could be entered. In response, Jacqueline's attorney suggested: "May I ask the Court to enter the Order and grant Counsel leave to come in and vacate it if he finds something about the Final Report rather than coming back to the court twice?" William's counsel agreed to this procedure; the court approved the report and discharged Jacqueline of her duties.

Thirty days later, William filed a motion to vacate the August 9, 1988, orders on the ground that the receipts and records supporting the statement had not been made available for review. At the time of the hearing on this motion, he acknowledged that various records had since been made available but that the report was still in such poor form that he could not possibly determine whether the account was correct. The court denied the motion, and this appeal followed.

William argues that Jacqueline owed a duty of complete disclosure and accounting, which was not met by her final accounting as plenary guardian of Hazel's estate. He points out that when there is an objection to the plenary guardian's final report, said guardian has the burden of proving that the final report properly accounts for the ward's estate. (In re Estate of Murphy (1987), 162 Ill. App. 3d 222.) Specifically, William maintains that the final account fails to give a beginning point, to explain what has happened to the assets, and to explain a proper ending balance. We disagree.

The Probate Act of 1975 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 110 1/2, par. 1-1 et seq.) imposes various duties on the representative of an estate. The representative must file an inventory of all estate property within 60 days after her appointment by issuance of letters. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 110 1/2, par. 14-1.) The representative of a ward's estate must also file a verified account within 30 days after the anniversary of her appointment and within 30 days of the termination of her office. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 110 1/2, par. 24-11.) The account must state the receipts and disbursements of the representative since her last accounting and all personal estate which is on hand and must be accompanied by such evidence of the ...


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