Personalized Legal Guidance for Your Guardianship Matters in Chicago and Surrounding Areas
Guardianship can be confusing to navigate, especially in the early stages of petitioning for guardianship. Whether you seek to establish guardianship for an elder or disabled adult or a minor, RDS Law Offices LLC can help. Our attorney has years of experience handling complex cases and is especially skilled at working with clients on personal matters. We provide around-the-clock availability and will help you build a strong case for guardianship based on your needs and goals.
Schedule a free consultation with RDS Law Offices LLC to get started. Polish, Spanish, and Italian services available.
Guardianship of Elder or Disabled Adults
Guardianship is needed when a person is unable to make and communicate responsible decisions regarding their personal care or finances due to a mental, physical, or developmental disability. However, the extent to which a guardian is allowed to make decisions for a ward (the person in the care of the guardian) is determined by the court.
There are two basic types of guardianship – "person guardianship" and "estate guardianship”:
- "Guardian of the person" – appointed by the court when a disabled individual cannot make or communicate responsible decisions regarding their personal care; their guardian will make decisions about medical treatment, residential placement, social services, and other needs.
- “Guardian of the estate" – appointed by the court when a disabled person is unable to make or communicate responsible decisions regarding the management of their estate or finances; their guardian will, subject to court supervision, make decisions about the ward's funds and the safeguarding of the ward's income or other assets.
Note that a guardian of the person may be required to submit an annual report to the court concerning the services provided to the ward and the status of the ward's personal care. Guardians of the estate must file inventories of the ward's assets and periodic accounting of estate receipts and disbursements. All estate expenditures are subject to court review, and the guardian may be held accountable for estate assets improperly managed.
Depending on the decision-making capacity of the disabled person, the court will appoint a “limited guardian” who is granted the power to make only certain decisions about personal care and/or personal finances, or they can appoint a “plenary guardian” who can make all decisions about personal care and/or finances for the disabled person.
You can also petition for the guardianship of a minor (under the age of 18), rather than of an elderly or disabled adult. Guardianships of minors are also categorized into guardian of the person or guardian of the estate. A minor might need a guardian of the person if they have no living parents, when the parents cannot be found, or when the parents are unable or unwilling to care for the minor. The minor might need a guardian of the estate if they are about to receive any money or property with a value of at least $5,000. However, such a guardianship might not be needed if the only asset is the right to collect Social Security benefits.
Filing for Guardianship
To request guardianship, you must first file a petition with the court as an "interested person." The petition includes basic information, such as the name, date of birth, and address of the person alleged to need guardianship. A report must also be filed that includes a physician's description of the person's physical and mental capacity along with their relevant evaluations which would enable the judge to determine the kind of guardianship they need.
A hearing will then be set within 30 days of the petition being filed. At the hearing, evidence about the ward’s health, mental faculties, finances, housing, and lifestyle will be presented. The guardian ad litem, who represents the ward, will report to the court as to the ward’s condition and may recommend the type of guardianship needed. After reviewing all the information, the court will either enter a limited or plenary guardianship order or determine that no guardianship is warranted.
If a change in guardianship is warranted, such as if the annual report recommends that guardianship be changed or revoked entirely, a petition for modification or termination of guardianship can be filed. A judge may then terminate the guardianship or modify the guardian's duties.
RDS Law Offices LLC is well-versed in guardianship-related matters and can help you build a sound petition for guardianship over an elderly or disabled adult or minor. Our attorney will handle every step from beginning to end and help you understand the legal process for obtaining guardianship.
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