Adult Disabled Guardianship in Wheaton
DuPage County Adult Guardianship Lawyers
The most vulnerable members of a society need added protection. That is why Illinois law makes special provisions for adults who may no longer be able to handle all of their affairs due to advanced age, poor health, personal injury or some similar situation. A legal guardian can give the family additional peace of mind because this person can help protect a disabled adult from unscrupulous people. An ongoing attorney-guardian partnership is even better because the attorney can serve as an effective advocate in any legal proceedings.
At The Law Office of Judith Jenz, we stand with families for the long term. We provide effective representation when family law issues arise, and comprehensive estate planning matters to provide an element of stability when it is needed most. Our relationship begins when you reach out to attorney Judith Jenz for your personal consultation.
Determining a Guardian
"Guardian" and "disabled person" have very specific definitions in the probate code. This law also sets up essentially two categories:
- Guardian of the Person: This protector has the authority to make healthcare, residential, and other personal and physical care matters.
- Guardian of the Estate: This person handles financial matters for a disabled adult, including bill payment, property management, and testamentary documents.
A judge will either appoint a limited guardian, who has specific powers in specific situations, or a plenary guardian, who has authority in all areas.
What a Guardian Does
Guardians have a fiduciary duty towards their wards. They must set aside their own financial or physical interests and always do what is best for their wards. Moreover, a guardian must take steps to help a ward become independent and self-reliant to the greatest extent possible. In making all decisions, the guardian must consider the ward's personal and moral convictions.
Personal guardians must file periodic reports that detail the ward's health and well-being. Financial guardians must responsibly invest any excess property, and they are held strictly accountable for any irregularities or breach of fiduciary duty.
A doctor's statement must be filed along with the petition for guardianship. The judge then conducts a brief hearing to ensure that the proposed ward needs protection and the level of assistance needed.
Typically, the judge appoints a Guardian Ad Litem to investigate the facts of the case. This attorney does not represent any one party, but is charged with determining what course of action is in the proposed ward's best interest. Most judges give a great deal of weight to the Guardian Ad Litem's report and recommendations. The proposed ward also has the right to contest the proceedings.
The guardianship can be ended at any time by any party to the proceeding. The petitioner must provide clear and convincing evidence that the guardianship is no longer needed at all, or should be modified.
Disabled adult guardians serve in a variety of capacities in many different situations. For a confidential consultation in this matter, contact The Law Office of Judith Jenz at 630-202-8842. Convenient payment plans are available.