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Guardianship Attorney in Niles, IL.

Serving Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Morton Grove, Skokie, NW Suburbs & Chicago

Guardianship is the court proceeding in which the court finds a person to be legally disabled.  If the court finds a person legally disabled after a hearing, the court will appoint someone as the legal authority (a guardian) to make decisions for a person who lacks the capacity to make those decisions for himself or herself, or to manage their financial affairs (guardian of the estate) or who is unable to properly care for themselves (guardian of the person). One of the most common reasons people go through the guardianship process in Illinois is to care for a disabled parent or child. A minor is legally disabled by law and must have a legal guardian appointed for him or her if there is no parent.

I am Jay A. Slutzky, attorney at law. From my office in Niles, Illinois, I help parents and adult children throughout Chicago and the north and northwest Chicago suburbs become guardians. I also advise guardians on their responsibilities and duties as a guardian.

In most cases, proper estate planning can help you avoid the need to go through the guardianship process. For example, if your parent has the legal capacity to complete a durable power of attorney, that document would give the designated person the authority to make medical and financial decisions. However, if your parent has Alzheimer's or dementia, he or she would lack the legal capacity to give another person power of attorney.

A guardianship remains under the supervision of the court.  The guardian of the estate has to keep an accurate record of all of the disabled person's assets and has to give an accounting of all money received and expenses paid on behalf of the disabled person.  It may become necessary to go into court to obtain the court's assistance or permission to expend funds.

Guardianships can be very expensive.

When Is Guardianship Needed?

Here are some examples of times whena guardian may need to be appointed by the court:

To help an incapacitated or disabled parent pay bills, manage finances, make health care decisions, authorize medical treatment, sell property, move into a nursing home or otherwise provide for their care

To make decisions for an adult child who is disabled

To manage money for a minor child who receives assets under a will, personal injury settlement or life insurance policy

To avoid potential family disputes over who should be a parent's or child's guardian, you can name a guardian in a will.  You may also name a trusted person as guardian for you in the event you ever need one by signing durable powers of attorney for property and health care.

For More Information About Guardianships