Guardianship Lawyers in Itasca, Arlington Heights, and Palatine
The most vulnerable people in society deserve special protection. Specifically, children may need a guardian if their natural or adoptive parents are unavailable, for whatever reason, and older adults may need a helper due to poor mental or physical health, advanced age, personal injury, or a similar situation. Guardians have a duty to make decisions that are only in the best interests of their wards, and also help their charges be as independent as possible.
At Glasgow & Olsson, we understand the struggles that Illinois families face every day, and we know the value of stability and peace of mind. We take the time to listen to you and devise a guardianship plan that meets your family's unique needs. Then, if necessary, we serve as powerful advocates in a courtroom.
Responsibilities of a Guardian
Financially, guardians have a fiduciary duty to their wards. They must discard their own interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of their wards. In other words, a "win-win" decision for the guardian and ward is an illegal decision; the only thing that matters is the ward's well-being.
In personal care matters, guardians must act as their wards or their parents would have acted. This responsibility often comes into play in issues like religious upbringing, participation in certain charitable organizations, and health care decisions.
There are four types of minor guardians in Illinois:
- Guardian Ad Litem: A court appoints this person to speak out for the best interests of the children in an ongoing lawsuit.
- Permanent Guardian: As the name implies, this person has total responsibility for a child until the minor turns 18, is otherwise emancipated, or the court modifies the guardianship order.
- Short-Term Guardian: Arrangements for s short-term guardian are common if the parent is being deployed overseas or is otherwise temporarily unavailable; a short-term guardianship lasts a maximum of 365 days.
- Standby Guardian: This person is often named in a will, and assumes control over decision-making if the children's parents die or become incapacitated.
A minor guardian can be almost anyone, and the parents usually appoint a trusted friend or relative.
The court will give the guardian as little power as possible to help ensure the ward's independence. A judge can appoint:
- Guardian of the Estate: This person is essentially an attorney-in-fact who has control of the ward's bank accounts, testamentary documents, and other related matters.
- Guardian of the Person: These individuals are essentially caregivers who have power over the ward's living arrangements, health care decisions, and other matters.
It is rare, although certainly not unheard of, for a ward to contest a guardianship proceeding. We provide competent representation in these matters.
A trusted guardian can introduce an element of stability into an otherwise unstable situation. To move the process forward, contact Glasgow & Olsson today at 847-577-8700.