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Legal Alternatives to Assuming Guardianship of a Disabled Adult in Illinois

Posted on in Family Law

Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, Illinois Law, Guardianship, Illinois Family Law, Illinois Family Lawyer, Illinois Family Law Attorney, Arlington Heights Family Law Attorney, Legal Guardian, Health Care Surrogate Act, Disabled Adult, Power of AttorneyTaking care of a disabled adult, or helping them care for themselves, can be one of the most stressful and difficult ordeals a person and family can go through. In many cases, families consider assuming legal guardianship to make things easier. However, this is often the most restrictive alternative available to the disabled person. There are many alternatives to assuming guardianship in Illinois available under the law.

According to the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, it is important to explore the alternatives to guardianship before making a decision. After all, guardianship often means having the family’s private affairs examined publicly in court, and inviting court supervision for the future. Whenever possible, the situation should first be discussed with a team of professionals, including medical staff, social workers, caretakers, and an experienced attorney as well as family and friends.

Under Illinois law, an alternate means of medical decision-making for the disabled individual may be established under the Health Care Surrogate Act for a person who has become incapacitated.

The Power of Attorney Act also allows a person to appoint their own agent to make personal, health care, and property decisions in the event they become disabled. This allows them the freedom to dictate the terms on their own, limiting the power of the agent to tasks they specify.

For individuals who require mental health treatment, the Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration Act offers an option that acts much like a power of attorney, and could provide an excellent alternative to full guardianship.

Dealing with the care and comfort is a difficult undertaking, and it can be hard to know what the best decision for both your family and the disabled individual is. Contacting a qualified and experienced family attorney in Illinois can help. They can explain all of your options under Illinois state law, and help you understand which decision is the best for your situation.


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