Adult Guardianship in Illinois
Guardians are people who are appointed by the court to manage the affairs of someone else, known as the “ward.” Guardianship is often misunderstood, though there are specific circumstances where a guardianship may be warranted and defined processes as to how a guardianship can be put into place. If you think that a loved one may benefit from a guardianship, you should speak to a skilled guardianship attorney who can help you with the process.
Circumstances Where a Guardian May be Appointed
Most adults can take care of their own affairs and therefore will not need a guardian. However, there are certain circumstances where an adult is unable to make his or her own decisions, such as when there is mental illness, mental deterioration, physical incapacity, or a developmental disability. Though just because someone may have a mental health or developmental disability does not automatically mean he or she cannot make his or her own decisions and handle his or her own affairs. It is only when an adult is so incapacitated that he or she cannot make responsible decisions that a guardianship may be appropriate.
Kinds of Guardianships and Responsibilities
There are several different kinds of guardianships. Typically, the court will appoint the most limited kind of guardianship that will meet the needs of the incapacitated person. Guardianship includes the following:
Guardianship of the person – Guardianship of the person involves making decisions about the medical care, residence, health, education, and other aspects that involve the person him or herself when the individual is unable to make those decisions.
Guardianship of the estate – Unlike guardianship of the person, guardianship of the estate requires a guardian to make financial decisions for the ward. However, the guardian does not make the health or welfare decisions. This is for when someone is not able to manage finances, but can make other important decisions.
Limited guardianship – Limited guardianship arises when a guardian is needed to help the ward make certain specific decisions. The powers that the guardian has will be specifically listed by the court.
Temporary guardianship – Temporary guardianship lasts for up to 60 days and is usually done in emergency situations to give immediate protection to the ward while giving parties a chance to figure out what may be necessary going forward.
Plenary guardianship – Plenary guardianship is a guardianship of the person and/or estate where the guardian has the power to make all the important decisions in the specified area(s).
Successor guardianship – A successor guardianship is used when the original guardian can no longer serve as the guardian due to death, incapacity, or an unwillingness to keep serving as the guardian.
Testamentary guardianship – A testamentary guardianship is used when a guardian names another guardian to serve in the event of their death. The court will still need to approve any guardian named.
Who Can Be a Guardian?
Guardians can be any adult of sound mind who has not been convicted of a serious crime. The court will choose (or approve) someone that it feels is suitable and that also has the willingness and ability to carry out the responsibilities of a guardian.
Let Us Help You Today
If you think that a loved one could benefit from a guardian, or you have questions or concerns about a current guardianship in place, you should contact a knowledgeable guardianship attorney as soon as possible. Our skilled DuPage County guardianship attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can assist you with all of your guardianship needs and concerns.