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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:


Lombard family law attorneyIn Illinois, the law presumes that anyone over age 18 is capable of making decisions and handling affairs for himself or herself. Yet, circumstances may arise where a person is not capable of doing so. If this has happened to one of your family members or loved ones, you may wonder what you can do to ensure that this person does not waste their resources or make harmful mistakes. Guardianship is one option you may wish to consider.

When Is Guardianship Appropriate?

Guardianship should be considered when a person cannot make basic life decisions or is not able to manage money or property. People of any age may require a guardian. 


Posted on in Children

The idea of both you and your spouse dying before your young children become adults may seem unfathomable.  Every day, however, illness or accidents leave children without a parent.  If you have not chosen a guardian, the courts would determine guardianship.  The courts may not choose the person you would have chosen.  Do not risk this scenario.  Using guidelines and proper legal counsel can make the decision easier.

Who Do I Choose?

Choosing a family member may seem like the natural choice but it may not always be the right choice. You should weigh the suitability of your family members as you would any potential guardian.  Here are some things to consider when determining a potential guardian:


USA Today recently reported on a Virginia custody battle involving a 29 year-old woman with Down syndrome. Margaret "Jenny" Hatch has been involved in the custody battle with her parents for a year, but a Newport News judge rejected the guardianship petition that Hatch’s parents had filed, which would have allowed them to keep her in a group home against her wishes.

KerryHatch had been working for five years at a thrift shop owned by Kelly Morris and Jim Talbert. In March 2012, Hatch was injured in a bicycle accident and the couple took her into their home to recover. Two and half months later, the couple say they allowed a caseworker with the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board to take Hatch to a group home because they believed it was the only way she’d qualify for a Medicaid waiver. The waiver would entitle her to many in-home and community-based services. On Aug. 6, after the Medicaid waiver was approved, Hatch returned to live with Morris and Talbert.

Two days later, Hatch’s mother and step-father filed for guardianship. Hatch’s mother and stepfather requested guardianship, as well as the right to make decisions about her life, such as where she lives, what medical treatment she receives and who she can see. They were happy with her in a group home setting, which they believed offered the safest environment.

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