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How Illinois Law Defines Different Types of Guardianship

 Posted on November 09, 2018 in Family Law

Lombard, IL adult guardianship attorneyWhen one thinks of being a guardian, the image of a parent taking care of a child often comes to mind. However, guardianships are not reserved solely for parents and their children. According to Illinois law, a guardian is a person, institution, or agency appointed by the Probate Court to manage the affairs of another, called the ward. 

Because a person is considered an adult at the age of 18, they typically no longer have a legal guardian after their 18th birthday. However, like most laws, there are exceptions. There are four reasons why an adult would be assigned a legal guardian, all of which surround the adult’s health. The four qualifications for the need of a guardian are mental deterioration, physical incapacity, mental illness, and/or a developmental disability. Depending on the circumstances, there are several different types of guardianships allowed in Illinois.

Types of Guardianships

For guardianships that are not between an adult and a child, the details of the arrangement can vary with each situation, and they will be determined by the court based on the ward’s health. Types of guardianships include:

  • Limited Guardianship: This arrangement gives legal decision-making power to the guardian only in the areas in which the ward cannot do so themselves. These may include decisions regarding the ward’s personal care or finances.
  • Plenary Guardianship: This grants complete power to the guardian regarding the ward’s personal care and finances.
  • Guardianship of the Person: This is used in situations in which the ward cannot personally care for themselves; however, the financial decisions are still made by the ward.
  • Guardianship of the Estate: Unlike the previous type of guardianship, the ward’s property and finances will be solely handled by their guardian.
  • Temporary Guardianship: As is indicated by the name, this is a temporary solution used in emergencies. This form of guardianship lasts 60 days at most.
  • Successor Guardianship: This form of guardianship is also used in terms of emergency. A successor guardian replaces the original guardian in cases of death or injury.
  • Testamentary Guardianship: This is used to prepare for a parent or guardian’s death. A testamentary guardian is typically named in a person’s will or appointed by the court, and they will care for a ward following the death of the original parent or guardian.

Contact a DuPage County Guardianship Lawyer

Making the decision to appoint a guardian or become a guardian can be taxing and emotional. It can also be difficult to understand which form of guardianship is necessary in each individual situation. At A. Traub & Associates, we understand the sensitive nature of decisions about guardianship, and we work to make things easier for our clients. With the help of an experienced Lombard family law attorney, you can create a plan that will protect all those involved. Contact us at 630-426-0196 to learn more about the guardianship process and receive the legal protections you need.


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