As an adult child, you may take on the responsibility of caring for your aging parent or parents. Unfortunately, the time may come when, due to dementia, Alzheimer's or other such ailments, they can no longer care or make decisions for themselves. We at Zapolis & Associates PC understand the complexities associated with taking care of an elderly family member in Illinois, and have helped many adult children obtain the legal authority to ensure their parents' well-being.
The Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission points out that age, mental illness, or developmental or physical disability alone do not warrant the need for a guardianship. Rather, the court may only take this drastic step if, as a result of such factors, your parent can no longer make and express responsible choices regarding his or her care and finances.
Depending on factors, including your parent's decision-making capacity, the court may appoint a guardian of the person, a guardian of the estate or both. A person guardianship allows you to make decisions regarding your parent's residential placement, medical treatment, social services and other such personal needs. An estate guardianship, on the other hand, gives you the authority to make choices about your parent's finances and the protection of his or her income and other assets.
If your elderly parent has not established medical directives, such as powers of attorney or a living will, applying for guardianship may be the only option to ensure he or she is appropriately cared for. More information about this topic is available on our web page.