Guardianship in Illinois

Guardianship is a court-appointed responsibility for individuals who are unable to manage their own affairs due to disability or minority. The individual who requires decision-making assistance is known as the ward.

Assuming the role of guardian is a serious and important step in ensuring the welfare of an individual. The experienced and knowledgeable La Grange and Northbrook guardianship attorneys at Wilson & Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, can assist you through the process.

Illinois recognizes two types of guardianship proceedings: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. These matters are heard in probate court, which is often associated only with the decedent’s estates.

Guardianship of the person handles the personal decisions of a person with a disability or minor, such as healthcare choices and basic care management.

Guardianship of the estate allows the guardian to manage the financial affairs of a minor or a person with a disability, such as paying bills, protecting assets from waste, and applying for financial benefits.

If you’re considering becoming a guardian in Cook, DuPage, or Lake County, or if you’re already a guardian and need assistance, please contact Wilson & Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC.

We can help you understand your responsibilities and navigate the guardianship process. Our Illinois guardianship lawyers have offices in LaGrange and Northbrook.

Types of Guardianship

Adult Guardianship. Adults over the age of 18 are considered capable of making their own healthcare and financial decisions unless they have a disability that prevents them from doing so. Disabilities can be mental, physical, or both.

Being mentally disabled, developmentally disabled, or elderly does not automatically mean someone needs a guardian. The court will decide whether and to what extent someone needs a guardian to make decisions for them, based on medical evaluations and reports.

Minor Guardianship. If a child’s parents die or abandon them, or if a child is inadequately cared for or abused, an Illinois probate court may appoint an adult who is not the child’s parent to take care of the child or their property. The probate court can only grant a probate guardianship if the child is not involved in a family court or juvenile court action. A guardian generally has the same responsibilities as a parent, and is responsible for the child’s personal needs, including shelter, education, and medical care.

Becoming a Guardian in Illinois

To act as a guardian for someone in Illinois, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be of sound mind
  • Be a legal resident of the United States
  • Not be legally disabled
  • Not have a felony conviction that involved harming or threatening a minor, elderly person, or person with a disability

Family members are not automatically named legal guardians of their relatives. The court decides who will be the ward’s guardian. The ward may express their preference for who they would like to be their guardian.

Petitioning for guardianship in Illinois is a complex process that can be confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the law. Each county also has its own individual requirements, which can add to the confusion.

We can help. At Wilson & Wilson Estate Planning and Elder Law, LLC, we have years of experience in guardianship law in Cook, DuPage, and Lake counties. We take pride in guiding our clients through this process as painlessly as possible.

If you think one of your family members or loved ones might need a guardian, please call us today.

Contact us online to learn more, or call our LaGrange office at (708) 482-7090 or our Northbrook office at (847) 656-8958.

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