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How to Seek Guardianship of a Disabled Loved One

 Posted on April 20, 2018 in Estate Planning

Lombard guardianship lawyersIf you wish to be the primary caregiver of a friend or family member who is unable to care for themselves, one option which you have available in Illinois is guardianship. Guardianship can be granted by a judge to help an adult who cannot make general life decisions on his or her own. Guardian responsibilities are categorized into two groups: financial/estate responsibilities and personal responsibilities. In Illinois, there can be separate guardians for a person and their estate or the same person can look after the disabled individual’s personal needs and make estate decisions.

Guardian Qualifications

In order to become a person’s legal guardian, you must be at least 18 years old, not legally disabled, a United States resident, cognitively capable of caring for another, and free from certain prior felony convictions. If the disabled person in question wishes for you to become his or her guardian, such wishes will be considered by the court, but the court is not obligated to approve you as a guardian.

Responsibilities and Expectations

Being a person’s guardian comes with serious responsibilities. Whatever tasks the incapacitated person, or ward, cannot do on his or her own will need to be accounted for by the guardian. Duties which the guardian is responsible for can include:

  • Ensuring the ward is physically cared for and kept safe;
  • Making financial decisions for the ward and paying his or her bills;
  • Making medical decisions for the ward;
  • Maintaining adequate medical care and educational services; and
  • Periodically updating the court as to the ward’s physical, mental, and financial condition.

Guardians do not necessarily have to also be the day-to-day caretaker of the ward. For example, a guardian is not himself solely responsible for feeding or bathing a ward who cannot do this themselves, but the guardian is responsible for making sure an adequate caretaker is completing these types of tasks.  Guardianship can best be thought of as “decision-making services.”

The Process of Requesting Guardianship

If you wish to be a guardian of an incapacitated adult, you must file a Petition for Appointment of Guardian for Disabled Person in the circuit court clerk's office. Then, you will attend a hearing during which a judge will decide on your guardianship petition. If the judge believes that you will be able to manage the responsibilities of guardianship, he or she will grant the order which gives you that authority.

Get the Help You Need

If you would like to learn more about guardianship of a disabled adult, contact the office of A. Traub & Associates. Our experienced Lombard guardianship attorneys have the legal knowledge to help you protect the best interests of your disabled loved one. Call 630-426-0196 today to schedule your initial confidential consultation.



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