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An Overview of Illinois Guardianships

Posted on in Family Law

Lombard guardianship lawyersIn Illinois and indeed all over the country, there are children and disabled people who require a bit of extra help to have their needs met. While most often, people have family members to act for them, those who do not may need temporary or permanent guardians. There are specific procedures one must follow to become one and specific rules to be followed once one has the position.

General Guardianship Information

Most guardianship proceedings are conducted through the probate court. However, guardianship of a child differs slightly from seeking the guardianship of a disabled person in that guardianship of a minor automatically ceases when that child turns 18. Able-bodied adults over 18 are entitled to a rebuttable presumption that they can handle their own affairs. As such, obtaining guardianship for a 17-year-old may be more difficult and less practical than seeking guardianship over a 10-year-old simply because it would expire so quickly.

Guardians have both rights and responsibilities. They are entitled to custody and the right to make decisions for the child regarding important matters such as medical treatment issues or schooling. However, they must provide everything the child requires unless the parents are able to assist, and they must also obey all court orders issued regarding the child’s welfare, even if it means terminating the guardianship. The duties of a guardian for a disabled person are similar, though they may also include ensuring that the disabled person’s wishes are known and respected by others in positions of power.

Obtaining Guardianship in Illinois

If a U.S. citizen is over the age of 18, has not been judged to be disabled or “of unsound mind,” and has not been convicted of a felony, he or she may generally apply to become a guardian. If a court grants the petition, the person will be named guardian either of the person, the estate, or both. In other words, a person may be granted physical custody of a child without leave to manage their life issues. They may be granted the reverse, or they may be granted leave to manage both the person and their day-to-day affairs.

A petition, however, is not simply a piece of paper. Many different proofs are required to be submitted in support, such as a written oath that serves as the official acceptance of guardianship, a proposed order to be submitted to enter any guardianship with the relevant court, and in some cases, a bond to guarantee against financial damage to the ward’s estate. The state takes a strong interest in the welfare of its wards.

Experienced Assistance Can Smooth the Process

If you want to become a guardian for a specific child or disabled person, it is because you have their best interests at heart. However, the process can be complex and time-consuming. The compassionate Lombard guardianship lawyers at A. Traub & Associates undererstand that time is often of the essence in such cases, and we will put all our knowledge to work for you. Contact our offices today to discuss your options.

 

Sources:

http://www.cookcountycourt.org/Portals/0/Media/GuardianshipforMinorsHandout.pdf

http://ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt.+XI&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=12100000&SeqEnd=14300000


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