When a loved one has a disability and is above 18 years of age, a judge can choose a person to take care of their needs. This is known as guardianship of an adult. In Illinois, a person is considered to be disabled if they cannot make basic life decisions or manage their own property or money. As such, a family member or another concerned adult will be appointed as a guardian. The guardian will be responsible for making decisions concerning healthcare and financial issues that affect the disabled adult.
What is considered to be a disability?
As people age, they are more likely to suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s and other conditions that may lead to mental decline. This could make it necessary for a concerned adult to seek legal guardianship of that person. Other conditions that are considered to be disabilities include mental illness, physical impairments, developmental disability that started in childhood and inability to control behavior that would put the person or those around them at risk of harm.
The basics of guardianship
For a court of law to successfully grant a person the legal authority to make healthcare, personal care and financial decisions on behalf of the incapacitated adult, the prospective guardian has to meet certain requirements.
- They must be at least 18 years old, be a US resident, be of sound mind, should not be legally disabled and should not have a felony conviction relating to harming or threatening a child.
- The person who intends to be a guardian must also prove that the ward (the person needing a guardian) is incapacitated.
There are basically three types of guardianship of adults in Illinois: guardianship of the person, guardianship of the estate and representative payeeship. Each of the types of guardianship gives the guardian legal authority to make specific decisions.
Hiring a lawyer
The process of obtaining appointment as a guardian can be complex. This is why most people need a lawyer to help them through the legal process. A legal expert not only has the experience to build a solid case in but will also ensure the well-being of the loved one.