Overview of Guardianship Law

Guardianship is when an individual takes sole responsibility for the financial and personal decisions of another person. An example of guardianship would be an adult child who becomes the guardian for an elderly parent suffering from Alzheimer's.

To become a guardian you must prove that the "ward", or their property, is disabled. You must file a petition to the court to obtain guardianship. This is required for the county where you live. To file for guardianship in Illinois, the ward must reside in Illinois or have land. You can also find a professional guardianship attorney from many trusted sources.

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You must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen to become a guardian. However, guardianship can be denied to anyone who is "of unsound mental faculties," disabled, or convicted of a crime.

The next step is to prove that guardianship is required. This can be tricky if the potential ward denies they need it. This is where psychiatrists and doctors come in to give their opinions to the judge. The potential ward may be granted an attorney or guardian ad-litem to protect their interests.

You can choose between guardianship for the person or guardianship for the estate.

Guardianship is when you can make decisions about healthcare and living arrangements for the person. You must prove that the person is incapable of making an informed decision regarding such matters to qualify for guardianship.

Guardianship of an estate means that you can make financial decisions. This type of guardianship requires that you can prove that the potential ward cannot manage their finances. For example, they must be unable to pay bills or maintain a checking account. This type of guardianship can be difficult to obtain and may be quite complex. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney to learn how to obtain guardianship over the estate.