Seeing a loved one grow old can be hard, especially when they start to lose focus and forget things. If someone close to you is in that situation, you can protect them by talking to them about guardianship. A guardian could manage their affairs and take care of them if they can no longer make responsible decisions. However, setting up a guardian can be complicated, as it involves certain processes and requirements that your loved one will need to comply with.
Who can get a guardian in Illinois?
Not everyone is eligible to get a guardian. The law in Illinois states that only a person with a disability can have someone take care of their personal or financial affairs. The law considers a person to be eligible for a guardian if:
- They have a mental deterioration
- They have a physical incapacity
- They have a mental illness
- They have a developmental disability
In some cases, the court can also grant guardianship for those with a substance or gambling addiction.
The court’s process
The court will only consider guardianship for your loved one if a certified physician files a report stating that they have a disability and need a guardian. You can get this report from the Probate Clerk of the court where the guardianship proceedings would take place. The report must include information about the nature of the disability and how it impacts your loved one’s ability to make decisions or function independently.
Once you have the report, you can file a petition for guardianship with the court. This petition must include the name and address of the proposed guardian, who must be at least 18 years old, sound of mind and a resident of the United States. After filing the petition, the court will set a hearing within 30 days. There must be at least a witness to support your loved one’s need for guardianship at the hearing.
The court will make its decision at the hearing after reviewing all necessary information about the case. Depending on the circumstances, the court may appoint a limited or plenary guardian to your loved one. A plenary guardian can make all the decisions for your loved one, while a limited one can only make certain decisions.
Protection for your loved one
If the guardianship proceedings are successful, the court will designate a guardian to your loved one. The guardian will have ultimate responsibility for their health care and finances. A responsible guardian will take care of them, manage their affairs and prevent someone from taking advantage of them and their situation.