Guardian Fact Sheet for Assuming Legal Responsibility of an Adult

guardian facts

The decision to become a legal guardian to an adult should be done with careful consideration.  It is a big responsibility to assume the care of another person’s estate, finances and overall well-being. Therefore, you should make sure you understand what is involved before starting the process. The following information can be used as a starting point in your research. As a next step, our experienced attorneys can help you understand how to navigate the legal process of obtaining guardianship in the state of Illinois.

Basic Guardian Requirements

In order to become a legal guardian in Illinois, you must meet certain basic criteria.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a United States resident
  • Must be physically able to provide proper care
  • Must have full mental capacity to think, reason and make decisions
  • Must not have been convicted of a serious crime

Types of Guardianship

The legal rights and responsibilities of a guardian in Illinois can be structured differently, in order to best meet the needs of those involved.

  • Limited guardian – the court grants limited power to the guardian to make specific decisions about personal care or finances. This type of guardianship is often used when the person is still capable of making some decisions on their own.
  • Plenary guardian – the court grants full decision-making responsibilities regarding personal care, finances and estate matters. This guardianship is applied when the person’s mental or physical limitations prohibit their ability to make these important decisions.
  • Temporary guardian – in cases where immediate action is necessary due to safety concerns, a court can grant temporary guardianship to last up to 60 days while the final legal proceedings are being completed.

The fact that a person is elderly or disabled in some way is not cause in itself to require another person to assume guardianship over them.  A court must first evaluate and establish that need, then determine the extent of guardianship that is necessary.  Becoming a guardian is a complex process that requires sound legal assistance from a qualified attorney.  At Churchill, Quinn, Hamilton & Van Donselaar, Ltd, we have represented people at all stages of the guardianship process. Our expert guidance throughout every step will help to ensure the best outcome for all involved.  Contact us at 847-223-1500 to schedule a consultation.