If your loved ones begin to age to the point of needing guardianship, or if someone in your family is or becomes physically or mentally disabled, you need not worry about their health and safety. Illinois offers the right to appoint a guardianship if a need is determined, with Illinois offering highly progressive guardianship options solely focused on protecting the rights, independence, and well-being of your loved one. One part of the process involved in seeking guardianship for your loved one is working with a guardian at litem – but what exactly is that?

According to Illinois.gov, a guardian ad litem is a lay person or attorney appointed by the courts to represent the disabled person’s best interests during guardianship hearings. They observe and report on behalf of the court to determine if the guardianship is appropriate. It is the guardian ad litem’s responsibility to ensure the disabled person is fully informed of his or her rights under a guardianship, and to understand the wishes of the disabled person in the event of an appointed guardian.

The process involving the guardian ad litem gives the disabled person in question the right to oppose or dispute the guardian ad litem’s opinions, and may involve requesting an attorney for the disabled person. However, when you are seeking a guardian for a family member you may simply need the guardian ad litem to ensure the process of guardianship is as transparent and thorough as possible, even with your family member’s consent.

This is an informational blog post that should not be misconstrued as actionable legal advice.