Header

Guardianship

Guardianship

A Guardianship may be necessary over a disabled adult or over a minor under the age of 18.

Guardianship of a Disabled Adult:  When a person can no longer safely or responsibly handle their personal and/or financial affairs, a court may appoint a guardian.  The guardian will have the legal authority to make decisions and take actions necessary to care for and protect the disabled person.

The court may appoint a guardian of the person and/or a guardian of the estate. A guardian of the person refers to the guardian who makes decisions concerning the personal and physical care of the disabled person, including health care decisions and living arrangements.  A guardian of the estate refers to the guardian who handles the money, property, bill paying, and other financial matters for the disabled person.

Guardianship of a Minor:  Children under age 18 live with relatives for many reasons.  These reasons may include the illness or death of a parent, or because a parent cannot care for the children due to abuse or neglect, addiction, or other problems.  If a situation arises where a minor has no parent capable of caring for them, an interested party can petition a court for guardianship of the minor.

Illinois law sets the rules you need to follow to become a minor's guardian. First, you must ask a court to become the child's guardian. Next, you must either obtain the consent of both natural parents, or, if both natural parents do not consent, then you must still provide them with notice of your intention to seek guardianship.  Both or either parent can come to court and object to you becoming the child's guardian.  If one of the parents objects, you will need to give reasons to show why the parent is not "willing and able" to take care of their child. However, if neither parent objects and you show good reason to be appointed guardian, a judge will probably name you as guardian over the minor.

If you become the minor's guardian, you step into the place of the parents and are in charge of the child’s upbringing, healthcare, and education.  The guardian’s legal responsibility terminates once the child turns 18, or until somebone petitions the court and convinces the judge to agree to terminate the guardianship, whichever occurs first.

Mr. Nichelson can help you complete the proper legal paperwork to petition the court for guardianship over a disabled adult or over a minor under the age of 18. He will be your trusted advisor and representative as you petition the court for guardianship.