Why are guardianships necessary?
There are two types of guardianships in Illinois. There are guardianships of minors and guardianships of alleged disabled adults.
Guardianships of minors are used for two purposes. One purpose is to allow a person other than the parent to be responsible for the clothing, feeding, housing and educating of the child. This occurs when the parent(s) are unable or unwilling to care for their child. The other reason for guardianship of a minor is in the event a child will be receiving money. This can happen as a result of a personal injury settlement or an inheritance. A minor cannot receive money in their own name. Therefore, in order for these moneys to be dispensed, the court must appoint a guardian, usually a parent, to watch over the money until the child turns 18. At that time, the money can be released directly to the child. A guardian must be: at least 18 years of age; a U.S. resident; of sound mind; not found to be disabled by the court and not convicted of a felony.
The second type of guardianship is guardianship of an adult. Guardianships may become necessary for people over the age of 18, if that person is unable to make and communicate decisions about his or her healthcare, where he or she should live or is unable to manage his or her assets. The reasons for needing a guardian can be a mental, physical or developmental disability. Needing a guardian appointed by the court usually means there is not any other way, such as through the use of Powers of Attorney, to have someone else make those decisions on their behalf. In order to obtain guardianship of an adult, you will need to file a petition and have a mental evaluation completed of the alleged disabled adult to confirm that he or she is in need of a guardian. The alleged disabled person is then entitled to a hearing by the court to determine whether and who should be appointed as guardian.
If you are unable to care for your child, you want to become a child’s or an adult’s guardian, or you want to contest a guardianship, the law firm of Michling Plaza & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the representation necessary to achieve your goals.
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