location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
Free Consultations
phone 312-884-1222

Chicago Adult Guardianship Attorney

Park Ridge lawyer for guardianship of disabled adults

Lawyer for Guardianship of Disabled Adults in Cook County and Surrounding Areas

Upon reaching the age of 18, most Illinois residents have the rights and responsibilities of legal adulthood, including the ability to care for themselves and control their own property and assets. However, some adults have disabilities that interfere with these functions, and the court may determine that a guardian is necessary in these cases to protect the adult's best interests. Adult guardianship cases can be extremely complicated, requiring the resolution of important questions including whether a guardian is truly necessary, who is best fit to serve as guardian, and what level of authority the guardian will have.

Whether you are petitioning for the guardianship of someone else, or you are the subject of a guardianship action, it is important to have an attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you determine how to proceed. At The Law Office of George J. Skuros, we understand the possible ramifications of a guardianship case, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that your interests are represented and your voice is heard.

Reasons for Adult Guardianship in Illinois

According to Illinois law, probate courts will only appoint a guardian for an adult who has been adjudicated to have a disability that interferes with their ability to care for their person or property. Qualifying disabilities under the Illinois Probate Act include:

  • Mental deterioration or physical incapacity, often related to old age
  • Mental illness or developmental disability
  • Addiction, substance abuse, idleness, or wastefulness
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome and related effects

The Probate Act states that the purpose of guardianship for an adult with disabilities is to promote their well-being and "maximum self-reliance and independence," as well as to protect them from "neglect, exploitation, or abuse."

The Process of Appointing a Guardian

If you want to be appointed as guardian for an adult with disabilities, you will need to file a petition with the appropriate probate court. In many cases, the petition will need to address both the adjudication of disability and the appointment of guardianship. Your petition should specify the reasons you are seeking guardianship and include a report on the person's condition with statements from at least one licensed physician. An attorney can help you prepare your petition and make your case in court that guardianship is in the person's best interests.

If you have been adjudicated as disabled, you also have certain rights in guardianship proceedings. If you agree that guardianship is in your best interests, you can name the person whom you prefer as your guardian for the court's consideration. If you want to contest a petition for your guardianship or adjudication of your disability, you have the right to legal representation from an attorney of your choice or one appointed by the court. You can also request a jury for the court proceedings, and you and your attorney will have the opportunity to present evidence and question witnesses. If the court does appoint a guardian for you, you have the right to petition for modification or termination of the guardianship in the future.

Types of Adult Guardianship

When the court decides that guardianship is necessary, there are two important questions to address. The first is whether the guardian should have authority over the person, the estate, or both. Guardianship of the person means responsibility for their daily care and decisions related to their living arrangements, health, education, and activities. It can also mean responsibility for the person's minor children. Guardianship of the estate means responsibility for the person's money and other assets.

The second important question is how much authority the guardian should have. If the court determines that a disabled adult is capable of handling certain personal and property matters themselves, a limited guardian will be appointed to address only the matters with which the disabled adult needs assistance. On the other hand, if the disabled adult is judged to be fully incapable of providing for their needs, a plenary guardian with complete authority will be appointed.

Contact a Des Plaines, IL Adult Guardianship Lawyer

If you are involved in an adult guardianship case regarding yourself or a loved one, we can provide the legal advice and representation you need. Contact us for a free consultation by calling 312-884-1222 today. We represent clients in Des Plaines, Park Ridge, Mount Prospect, Inverness, Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, the North Shore, Chicago, and throughout Cook County and the surrounding areas.

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