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Four Things You Should Know About Adult Guardianships in Illinois

Posted on in Estate Planning

DuPage County guardianship attorneysAt one point or another, most of us will need help from someone else in regard to managing our affairs. For some of us, we might only need help temporarily as we recover from an injury or illness. In other situations, the need for assistance is permanent and much more serious. If you have a loved one who is struggling to manage their financial or health-related affairs, you might consider pursuing guardianship of that person. There are, however, a few things you need to know before you take any action in that direction.

1. Guardianship Can Only Be Granted by a Probate Court

In the state of Illinois, guardianships fall under the jurisdiction of the probate court. The court has full authority over the appointment and removal, if necessary, of adult guardianships. Unless you have been already been named in your loved one’s valid power of attorney, you cannot begin acting on your loved one’s behalf until the court says that you can.

2. The Person Must Be Disabled

Before appointing a guardian, the court must determine the person in question actually needs help due to some type of disability. In most cases, such disabilities include deteriorating physical or mental faculties, mental illness, or developmental issues. Illinois law also allows the court to find that a guardianship is necessary for an adult who has serious drug, alcohol, or gambling problems.

3. The Court Controls the Scope of the Guardianship

Depending on the person’s needs, the court is required to determine how much help the person requires and to appoint the appropriate type of guardian. A guardian of the person is responsible for making medical and health-related decisions while a guardian of the estate can make property and financial decisions. If the person needs both, the court could appoint a different guardian for each or allow the same person to fill both roles.

The court must also determine whether to limit the guardian’s authority. If a limited guardianship is all that is needed, the court will spell out the guardian’s specific duties. On the other hand, the court could decide to appoint a plenary guardian, who would have virtually unlimited authority to act on the disabled person’s behalf.

4. It Is Possible to Nominate a Guardian

As you look ahead to your own future needs, you have the right to nominate a person to be appointed as your guardian if you should ever need one. Your nomination will be considered by the court if and when the time comes, but the court may choose someone else.

Likewise, if you have been nominated by your loved one—while he or she was still of sound mind—to serve as his or her guardian, you should not simply presume the court will agree. You should be prepared to show the court that you are fully prepared to act in the best interests of your loved one.

Call a DuPage County Guardianship Attorney

For more information about adult guardianships or how to nominate a guardian in your estate plan, contact an experienced Lombard estate planning attorney. Call 630-426-0196 for a confidential consultation at A. Traub & Associates today.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+XIa&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=14300000&SeqEnd=17750000


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