The state of Illinois sometimes appoints guardians to care for disabled children or adults who cannot care for themselves independently. According to the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, there are a few requirements for becoming a guardian: You must be a United States resident who is at least 18 years old, and you must have a clean record. Some organizations may qualify for guardianship status as well. The court is responsible for determining whether or not you are the best choice for the job. However, the person requiring assistance may express an opinion regarding who the guardian should be, and the court will take those wishes into consideration.
Your primary job as a guardian is to perform the duties that your ward cannot accomplish independently. Since every person has a unique level of ability, the court may specify the amount of guardianship responsibilities you have. For instance, you could assume control over your ward's entire estate and physical care, or the court could appoint your care over only certain aspects. The objective is to allow your ward to operate as independently as possible, with assistance as needed.
Guardianships come in different forms depending on the disabled person's area of need. If you are an estate guardian, you are responsible for helping your ward manage his or her finances, but you do not necessarily provide physical assistance. As a personal guardian, however, you may need to care for your ward's physical needs. Whether you are an estate or personal guardian, you will typically have to provide updates to the court on a yearly basis to report on your ward's well-being or the status of the estate. If the ward is able to function independently in most circumstances, you may act as temporary guardian only at specific, court-appointed times. Temporary guardianships typically last for only two months. This information is intended to educate about a guardian's general duties, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.