adult and minor guardianship

Many jurisdictions across the country have provisions for those who want to apply to be a guardian for a minor child or an adult. Proceeding through this process can be complicated. However, with the help of an attorney, you can understand all the benefits and challenges of gaining guardianship of another individual. Here are a few adult & minor guardianship FAQs that you may want to check out. 

What Is Guardianship?

In most cases, the courts will give another person the legal right to handle finances or make decisions on their behalf. Generally, the person is too young or unable to handle their own personal affairs. These parties can include:

  • A child
  • A developmental disabled or incapacitated adult

In Illinois, these individuals are often referred to as wards. The probate court will award guardianship to manage the individual’s care and finances in these cases. 

Who Can Apply to Be a Guardian?

Any person over the age of 18 can apply to be a guardian of a minor or an adult. They must also be a legal resident of the United States and must not have a criminal background. 

Family members, friends, or even a state protection agency can petition the court to become a guardian of the child or adult. Anyone named as a guardian must have a sound mind and be approved by the courts. The process to determine guardians helps to protect the safety and welfare of the ward. 

Are There Different Types of Guardianships?

Depending on the jurisdiction, there are several types of guardianships. For example, Illinois has:

  • The court appoints a person guardianship to make decisions for the disabled individual or minor. 
  • Estate guardianship helps with the management of a person’s finances or estate. 
  • Permanent guardianship is a long-term commitment, and it occurs when the person is unlikely to regain any decision-making abilities in the future.  
  • Limited guardianship is awarded until the ward reaches an age or retains some decision-making capacity. 

What Are the Steps in the Guardianship Process?

The process to obtain guardianship does require a few steps. For example, in Illinois, you must:

  • File a petition in the probate court in the county where the person resides. The petition must include why guardianship is necessary and the relationship between the petitioner and the disabled person or minor child. 
  • After the petition is filed, the court clerk will set a date for a hearing. The petitioner must notify the disabled person and other interested parties about the hearing. 
  • At the hearing, the judge will review the evidence to determine whether the person is disabled and if the proposed guardian is suitable. 
  • If the judge determines that guardianship is necessary and the proposed guardian is suitable, the judge will issue an order appointing the guardian.
  • After being appointed, the guardian will take an oath to faithfully discharge their duties. The guardian may also have to post a bond to protect the disabled person’s estate if they fail to perform their duties properly.

Learn More About the Steps to Become a Guardian

Deciding to become a guardian can be a difficult decision. In this role, you will be responsible for the decisions of a child or an adult. Hopefully, these adult & minor guardianship FAQs have helped to answer a few of your questions. If you still want to learn more about this process, please contact Bielski Chapman, LTD. To schedule a free 15-minute consultation, please contact our office at (312) 583-9430.