If a person is not willing or able to make sound decisions for themselves, another person can petition to be made their guardian.

Guardianship is the court process through which an individual, the Guardian, can be given the authority to make decisions for another person, an alleged disabled person. In theory, this shouldn’t be necessary if the alleged disabled person has a valid Power of Attorney for Healthcare and/or a valid Power of Attorney for Property. If we don’t have those documents, or the documents we have are inadequate, the Court can appoint a Guardian of the Person to make decisions concerning matters like medical treatment and living situation. The Court can also appoint a Guardian of the Estate if the alleged disabled person has income or assets that require management. The same person can serve in both roles if that is appropriate and necessary.

If the alleged disabled person is still capable of making some decisions, it is possible to have a Limited Guardianship. Illinois law prefers to leave people in charge of their own lives and property, so the guardianship process requires proof that the alleged disabled person needs assistance in handling their person or property, and what degree of assistance is required.

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