Guardianship laws in Illinois can be vague. Here’s everything about Guardianship in Illinois: guardianship types, processes, and laws.

In the United States, the court may appoint minors or adults as legal guardians. In Illinois, the types of guardianships may vary. Thus, legal guardians must be informed of the processes and laws for guardianship in their area.

Related: How to File for Child Custody in Illinois

What are Guardianships?

Guardianships are a legal process by which an adult takes over a minor’s or adult’s physical and/or financial care. Guardianships are not the same as adoptions since those who seek guardianships are not legal parents.

Illinois offers five different guardianship types.

Types of Guardianship in Illinois

1. Permanent Guardianship

A legal guardian receives permanent responsibility for a minor in a permanent guardianship. This type of guardianship often applies if a child has deceased parents.

2. Limited Guardianship

Limited guardianships apply when a minor does not require extensive supervision. The extent of a limited guardianship depends on the minor’s physical, mental, and adaptive limitations in question. A court order mentions the scope of a limited guardianship depending on the child’s needs.

3. Guardian of the Estate

Another limited type of guardianship includes a guardian of the estate. A guardian of the estate must preserve, manage, and dispose of the inherited assets in the minor’s best interests. In Illinois, a guardian of the estate is responsible for managing income, assets, bank accounts, investments, and court accounts.

4. Guardian of a Person

A guardian of a person is responsible for all non-financial needs of a minor. This guardian must manage a child’s education, healthcare, comfort, and personal care.

5. Plenary Guardianship

A plenary guardianship is responsible for a child’s financial and personal matters. A plenary guardian is essentially the combination of a guardian of the estate and a guardian of a person. A plenary guardianship may be temporary or permanent, depending on the situation.

Related: How to Calculate Child Support in Illinois

How to File for Guardianship in Illinois

To file for guardianship in Illinois, an applicant must file a petition in court. The petition must include an applicant’s name, date of birth, and the minor needing guardianship’s address.

The petition must also include a physician’s description of the person’s physical and mental capacity along with their relevant evaluations. A judge determines the kind of guardianship needed on a case-by-case basis.

The court sets guardianship hearings within a month of a petition’s filing. If the respondent is an adult, the respondent must receive the summons before the hearing. An attorney may represent the respondent, conduct a jury trial, present evidence, and cross-examine witnesses.

At the court hearing, a party must provide evidence regarding the respondent’s physical and mental health, finances, housing, and lifestyle. After reviewing all information presented during the trial, the court must decide whether guardianship by the petitioner is warranted or not.

FAQs about Guardianship in Illinois

Why would someone need a guardian?

A minor may need a guardian in the case of deceased, ill, or absent parents. The court may assign an adult a legal guardian if a person proves to be a danger to themselves or others by the court. For more information about adult guardianships, visit here.

Who does Illinois consider a guardian?

Guardianship candidates must be 18 or older, have never been convicted of a serious crime, and the government must consider them to be of sound mind. A guardian must also be a legal resident of the United States.

What rights do legal guardians have in Illinois?

Depending on the type of guardianship, a legal guardian may have jurisdiction over medical and financial decisions, contract agreements, and/or other legally binding statements.

How much does guardianship cost in Illinois?

The Probate Act of Illinois provides that “no costs shall be assessed or charged against the Office of State Guardian by any public officer in any proceeding for the appointment of a guardian.” However, fees for adult guardianship cost about $3,000.

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If you or a loved one would like to know more about guardianship in Illinois, get your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys today!