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Ilinois Guardianship Attorneys

The term “guardianship” actually encompasses several possibilities under Illinois law.

With regard to minor children, there are two main types of guardianship: permanent legal guardianship and short-term guardianship. However, a person may be appointed guardian of the person, guardian of the estate, or both. In some cases, one person may be appointed guardian of the person and another of the estate.

This may sound complicated, but an attorney who is familiar with guardianship proceedings in Illinois will be able to quickly evaluate your situation and advise you as to the best form of guardianship to pursue.

In most cases, guardianship of a minor child comes about with the consent of the child’s parents. However, there are circumstances under which a third party may petition for guardianship of a child.

When there is a living parent whose parental rights have not been terminated, the Illinois Probate Act of 1975 grants court jurisdiction to hear a petition for guardianship by a third party only if:

(1) the parent or parents voluntarily relinquished physical custody of the minor;
(2) after receiving notice of the hearing under Section 11-10.1, the parent or parents fail to object to the appointment at the hearing on the petition; or
(3) the parent or parents consent to the appointment as evidenced by a written document that has been notarized and dated, or by a personal appearance and consent in open court.

The Responsibilities of Guardianship

A person who is appointed as legal guardian of the person of a minor child stands in similar stead to a parent, and is responsible for the care, custody and education of the child. A guardian of the estate is charged with frugal management of the estate and with use of the principal and interest to provide for the child.

Guardianship of Disabled Adults

The Probate Act also allows for guardianship of a disabled adult. A person is deemed disabled for guardianship purposes when mental deterioration or mental illness, or physical incapacity or developmental disability renders him unable to fully manage his personal care or his estate. Note that a person is not subject to guardianship merely because he is physically or developmentally disabled or mentally ill—he condition must render him unable to make or communicate responsible decisions.

As in the case of a minor child, guardianship may be of the person, of the estate, or both. However, in the case of a disabled adult, the court has more latitude to provide for the needs of the disabled person while allowing him to retain as much autonomy as is appropriate.

Understanding Guardianship

Whether you’re considering petitioning for guardianship of a child or disabled adult or have been asked to take on permanent or short-term guardianship by a parent or legal guardian, we can help. The legal intricacies may seem overwhelming, but we can break down the process and the obligations of the appointment for you so that you can make the right decision for you and the others involved. Then, if you decide to proceed with the guardianship, we can prepare the paperwork for you and, if necessary, represent you in court.

Taking guardianship over another person is a big responsibility, and it’s important that you have a clear understanding of what will be expected of you. To learn more, schedule an appointment today with our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys.

Call for a Free Initial Consultation

To discuss your case with an experienced guardianship lawyer, call 630-553-4567 or 630-897-5553. We offer a free initial consultation at our offices in Illinois.