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How Can I Gain Legal Guardianship of a Disabled Adult in Illinois?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Libertyville estate planning lawyerWhen an adult has a severe disability, he or she may be unable to make competent decisions on his or her own. The disability may leave him or her unable to function independently or stay out of harm’s way. If your loved one is disabled and you worry that he or she may not be capable of making responsible, safe decisions, you may be interested in learning about adult guardianships. Being someone’s guardian is a major responsibility that must be granted by the court. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you pursue guardianship of a disabled adult.

When Can Someone Become a Disabled Person’s Guardian?

A guardian is a person or an institution that is tasked with managing a disabled person’s affairs. Illinois courts only appoint someone to be a guardian if the individual has established that they will act in the best interests of the disabled person or “ward.” Disabilities that qualify a person for guardianship include physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, and mental decline from conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Illinois law also allows a guardian to be appointed if a person suffers from a severe gambling addiction or substance abuse problem. In order for the court to award guardianship of a disabled adult, the person’s disability must be severe enough to prevent the person from making and expressing sensible decisions.

Adult Guardianship Process in Illinois

In order to gain guardianship of an adult, you must first submit a petition for guardianship with the court. You will also need to obtain a physician’s report or “physician’s affidavit” from a medical professional who has examined the disabled person within the last three months. The report must include information about the disabled person’s incapacity and how it affects his or her functioning as well as the physician’s recommendation regarding guardianship. Next, you will attend a court hearing during which the court will evaluate evidence regarding the need for guardianship. The disabled person and his or her loved ones have the right to object to the guardianship request. If the court determines that the disabled person lacks the capacity to make sound decisions and care for himself or herself, guardianship will be granted. The guardianship duties may be divided between a “guardian of the estate” who makes financial decisions on behalf of the disabled person and a “guardian of the person” who makes medical decisions and decisions about living arrangements.  

Contact an Arlington Heights Adult Guardianship Lawyer

Obtaining guardianship of an adult can be a complicated legal process. For dependable guidance regarding adult guardianships in Illinois, contact Newland & Newland, LLP. Call our office at 847-549-0000 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Palatine estate planning attorney to learn more about how we can help you.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/OSG/Documents/GuideAdultGuardianship2011.pdf

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/AboutUs/Pages/GuardFAQ.aspx#qst1

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