Chicago Area Guardianship Lawyers
Attorneys for Guardianship of Adults or Minor Children in Illinois
While the estate planning process is often focused on addressing the disposition of a person’s financial and personal affairs after their death, it is also important to consider how certain matters will be addressed during a person’s lifetime. In some cases, an elderly person or an adult with special needs may require assistance with managing their finances or addressing their daily needs. It may be necessary to establish legal guardianship in these situations, and this will not only ensure that a guardian has the authority to meet the needs of a person in their care, but it will also protect the rights of the person being cared for.
The attorneys of the Gierach Law Firm have more than 30 years of experience providing dedicated and experienced legal help with estate planning and other related concerns. If you are caring for a minor child or disabled adult, or if you believe that you need assistance with your personal needs or finances, we can work with you to determine the best options for establishing guardianship. We will help you complete your legal requirements and make sure your rights are protected at all times.
Establishing Guardianship in Illinois
A person may be nominated to be the guardian of a minor child in a parent’s will, an adult with special needs may wish to name someone as their legal guardian, or a person may look to establish guardianship for a child or adult who is in their care. Guardianship may be established by filing a petition in court, and a judge will decide what level of authority a guardian may have toward the person in their care, who is known as their “ward.”
Illinois law identifies two types of guardianship, and one person may have both types of guardianship for a ward, or different parties may be named as each type of guardian:
- Guardianship of the person – This applies to a ward’s personal and medical needs. A guardian will be responsible for addressing the ward’s living arrangements and ensuring that they receive the proper food, clothing, medical care, education, transportation, or any other daily necessities. The guardian will usually have the authority to make medical decisions for the ward, including determining whether they should be admitted to or discharged from a hospital, nursing home, or mental health facility.
- Guardianship of the estate – This addresses a ward’s property and financial affairs. A guardian will be responsible for managing the ward’s income and finances, making payments on their behalf for expenses or debts, investing funds, applying for and receiving benefits, and maintaining real estate property or other assets.
In a plenary guardianship, a guardian will have the full authority to make any decisions that are appropriate to meet the ward’s needs. In a limited guardianship, only certain types of powers will be granted to the guardian, and the ward will be able to retain some control over their life and ensure that their wishes will be followed. A guardian will typically be required to make regular reports to the court regarding the actions they have taken to meet the ward’s needs and whether there is a continued need to maintain guardianship. In some cases, a guardian may need to seek the court’s approval when making major decisions on behalf of the ward, such as when moving the ward to a new residence or buying or selling real estate property.
Contact Our DuPage County Guardianship Attorneys
Legal guardianship can provide a wide variety of benefits for both a guardian and a ward. At the Gierach Law Firm, LLC, we will make sure you understand your options for establishing guardianship, and we will work with you to create a guardianship agreement that will protect your rights and meet your needs. Contact us today to arrange a consultation at our Naperville office by calling 630-756-1160 or at our Hoffman Estates office by calling 847-519-0505.