Southern Illinois Guardianship Attorneys
If your elderly parent or relative becomes incapacitated and can no longer make sound decisions about personal care or managing their property or finances, you may need to be appointed as an adult guardian to assist your loved one. It is one of life’s transitions that many families face as more people are enjoying active, longer lives. Illinois law allows guardianships to be tailored by the court to fit the capabilities and limitations of a disabled elderly individual. That provides protection while allowing the disabled adult to live as independently as possible.
The compassionate elder care attorneys at SI Elder Law, LLC focus our legal practice on helping Southern Illinois families ensure that their elderly loved ones have the care and protection needed to live out their lives with dignity and respect.
Legal Reasons to Claim Guardianship of an Adult
A guardianship is intended to safeguard a disabled senior from neglect and exploitation and enhance his or her well being.
A person may need the protection of a guardian if he or she is unable to reach and communicate responsible decisions about handling personal finances or managing basic necessities such as dressing, bathing and taking medication as a result of a physical, mental or developmental disability.
If an elderly person is unable to recognize that a particular decision needs to be made or is unable to make sound decision about where to live, how to purchase food or clothing and when to seek medical care, a guardianship may be needed.
The Illinois Probate Act allows the creation of guardianships when the court makes a determination of a disability. The probate court has multiple options as to the type of guardian to appoint based on the needs of the individual who is found to be disabled. Which is most appropriate depends on the specific facts on the individual’s condition.
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Guardian of the Person—If an individual is unable to give informed consent about medical care or living independently, a guardianship of the person may be appropriate.
Guardianship of the Estate—If a person is incapacitated and cannot manage their own financial affairs and bill-paying assistance is not adequate, a court may appoint an estate guardian. The size of the disabled person’s estate may be a factor the court considers in determining whether an estate guardian is warranted.
Plenary Guardianship—If a senior lacks the capacity to handle financial decisions and basic personal matters and the court finds the person is completely disabled, a plenary guardianship may be appropriate. It is the most common form of guardianship, according to the Illinois Guardian and Advocacy Commission.
Limited Guardianship—If a person still has some capacity to decide personal matters, a limited guardianship may be appropriate. A limited guardian has authority to make some decisions regarding personal or financial matters for the partly disabled person. The appointment of a limited guardianship requires a doctor to specify what the individual can and cannot do. The court lists which responsibilities the limited guardian will handle.
The attorneys at SI Elder Law, LLC can review the specific facts of your loved one’s situation and discuss with you all options and the most appropriate form of guardianship to petition the court to appoint. We have advocated on behalf of many Southern Illinois families confronting these complicated legal issues involving aging parents and relatives.
Temporary or Emergency Adult Guardianship
In an emergency situation, the court may appoint a temporary guardian if it determines that immediate protection for the individual’s welfare and estate is needed. The temporary guardianship expires when the court appoints a permanent guardian.
SI Elder Law can help you attain temporary, emergency guardianship of a loved on. Call us today.
What is Considered in Order to Claim Guardianship
A mental disability, developmental disability or physical disability alone is not sufficient to justify the need for a guardianship. The important question to consider is whether the senior’s disability prevents the individual from making sound decisions, communicating those decisions and managing his or her own affairs. For example, is the elderly person, because of dementia or mental decline, no longer able to engage in the decision-making process about their own affairs?
The court requires a doctor’s report describing the nature of the disability based on a recent examination and how it affects a person’s ability to make personal decisions or live independently. The doctor must state that the person needs a guardian because he or she cannot make reasonable personal or financial decisions.
Who is Eligible to Claim Guardianship
An individual, an institution or an agency may be appointed as a guardian.
There are certain qualifications for an individual to claim the guardianship of an adult in Illinois. The designated guardian must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Reside in the U.S.
- Be of sound mind
- Not be disabled
- Not have been convicted of a serious crime
- Demonstrate to the court an ability to be an active guardian.
A bank may be appointed a guardian of the estate, but not a guardian of the person.
Why You Need SI Elder Law’s Help
The appointment of a guardian requires the involvement of the court. Having an experienced elder law attorney answer your questions and provide trusted guidance will make the process go more smoothly.
Our knowledgeable elder care attorneys will gather the needed documentation and help you apply for an adult guardianship for your loved one. We will handle the many steps involved in a guardianship proceeding including:
Obtaining a doctor’s report regarding the elder’s disability
Preparing a petition to determine incapacity and to appoint a guardian of the person and estate of the disabled adult and filing it with the Probate Court Clerk
Accompanying you to court and submitting the evidence to support the need for the guardianship
Drafting a proposed order for the court to sign if it determines that a guardianship is needed
Helping the guardian prepare an inventory of the disabled elder’s assets and assisting the guardian in arranging for the individual’s care
Assisting the guardian in preparation of the required annual report to the court for review
Petitioning the Court to have the guardian discharged at the end of the case
At SI Elder Law, LLC, we take seriously the trust our clients place in us to help them resolve elder care issues. Call 618-912-4271 for a no-obligation consultation with a guardianship attorney. We will listen carefully to your questions and concerns and explain your legal options. Trust SI Elder Law, LLC to help you and your loved ones.