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Does My Disabled Family Member Need A Guardian?If you have a disabled family member or other loved one, you may wonder whether he or she needs a guardian. Illinois law provides a way for the court to appoint guardians for some disabled people. Ultimately, it is important to understand who may be eligible for guardianship and what guardians do.

Is My Disabled Family Member Eligible for a Guardian?

Not every disabled person needs or can get a guardian. Guardians are appointed when a person with a disability is unable to make or communicate responsible decisions regarding their estate or personal needs. Many disabled people are very capable of making their own sound decisions, and therefore are not eligible for a guardian. However, individual mental deterioration, physical incapacity, mental illness, and developmental disabilities can make someone unable to make decisions themselves. This also sometimes happens during the aging process. Ultimately it is up to the judge whether an individual needs the protection of a guardian.


DuPage County family law attorney, establishing a guardianshipIn Illinois, a guardian is appointed for a variety of reasons and has the same responsibilities to a child as a child’s natural parent. Guardianship arises in certain scenarios, such as when: a child’s biological parents cannot care for the child; a child’s parents died in an unfortunate accident; a minor child is disabled and is unable to provide for his or her own well being; or when elderly persons can no longer take care of themselves.

Under Illinois law, there are four types of guardianships available. These guardianships are: permanent legal guardian; guardian ad litem; standby guardian; and short-term guardian.

  • A permanent legal guardian assumes the obligations of the biological parents and is responsible for the child’s necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, education and upbringing;


DuPage family law attorney, Illinois guardianshipsWhen the court determines that an adult is unable to care for himself/herself, or a child’s parents are unable to care for the child, the court will appoint a guardian. The court can appoint a guardian to have custody of the child or to manage the child’s property, or both.

If the court appoints a custodial guardian, the guardian has the right to:

  • Custody of the minor child;


Posted on in Guardianship

DuPage County family law attorneys, Illinois guardianship typesThe need for a guardian typically arises when the parents of a child have died or are no longer able to provide proper care. Guardianship appointments for minors are handled by the state probate court, and the rules regarding guardianship are defined within the Illinois Probate Act. The law provides for different types of guardianship appointments, each with its own set of guidelines, restrictions and terms.

Types of Guardianship 

Found in Illinois law under 755 ILCS 5/11, the Probate Act recognizes that there are situations where another person besides a parent should be appointed to make decisions that are in the best interest of a child. The Probate Act of Illinois separates guardianship appointments into three different types: permanent guardians, standby guardians, and short-term guardians. Each type of guardian is appointed in their own way, with their own set of responsibilities, and all are appointed for different reasons.

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