A guardianship lawyer in Woodridge can help you when you need a legal way to care for your loved one. When a family member or someone close to you is no longer capable of taking care of themselves, you may find yourself in a challenging situation. This may result from mental or physical incapacity, old age, or minor status. Regardless of the age of your loved one, this can pose difficult circumstances. Sometimes, petitioning for conservatorship or guardianship is the best way to protect them.
Unfortunately, filing these petitions isn't simple. The process can be confusing and challenging when undertaken alone. An experienced conservatorship lawyer can take the uncertainty out of the equation and help you achieve the best possible results for your case.
A conservatorship is a legal process where the court appoints a person to manage another person's financial affairs. Some states call the process "conservatorship." In Illinois, the court refers to the legal process as "guardianship of the estate." The meanings are essentially the same, with each state having slight variations in its law.
The terms surrounding guardianships and conservatorships in Illinois are as follows:
While the terms may be different, the meanings are essentially the same. A guardian of the estate in Illinois has the same responsibilities and rights as a conservator from another state. The court can create a guardianship of the estate to allow the guardian to legally manage the finances of an incapacitated adult or minor. The court can assign the guardian of the estate varying levels of responsibility, depending on the ward's condition. However, the court must approve the guardian of the estate.
Once the court has awarded guardianship of the estate, the guardian must file annual financial reports regarding the guardianship, which the court monitors.
Using an experienced guardianship attorney can help simplify and streamline the guardianship or conservatorship process. Your attorney will help you determine the best decision regarding your estate planning. Additionally, other legal options may be better suited to your intended goals.
A conservatorship or guardianship is a big decision that comes with pros and cons. Before making a final decision, you may wish to consult a knowledgeable guardianship lawyer to ensure conservatorship is the right legal mechanism for you.
The benefits of Illinois guardianship or conservatorship include the following:
The disadvantages of a conservatorship or guardianship include the following:
In Illinois, the appointment process for guardianship is made through court hearings. It can take between two weeks and two months for the court to decide.
The only way you can be appointed as a guardian for an adult is to be appointed guardian by an Illinois circuit court. The legal procedures are detailed in Section 11a of the Probate Act of 1975. Each circuit court may have its own rules, which your guardianship lawyer should be familiar with.
Before your court proceeding, you will need a report certifying that the proposed ward is disabled and in need of a guardian. You can often receive a pre-printed form from your circuit court's Probate Clerk. Your circuit court will be the county where the proposed ward resides. You should consult an attorney if the court does not have a form.
Complete this form and have it signed by a licensed physician or another professional familiar with the proposed ward's disabilities. Those who sign should be aware that they may be required to testify in court.
The report must contain all of the information required in paragraphs 11a-9 of the Probate Act of 1975. The report should be detailed and accurately reflect the abilities and skills of the proposed ward, as well as their problems and deficits.
Like other legal proceedings, it is possible to prevail without an attorney. However, legal counsel may be beneficial, particularly in the following scenarios:
Having an Illinois guardianship lawyer will also be beneficial when you must obtain copies of local court forms and understand the scheduling of these cases.
A proposed ward has a right to a court-appointed lawyer and a jury trial. They may also request an independent medical evaluation.
Many counties in Illinois require a guardian ad litem, a private lawyer or professional who independently advises the court of the need for guardianship. However, many courts may waive this requirement.
Once you obtain the required report and guardianship is deemed appropriate, you or your attorney must prepare the following documents:
Next, you will file the petition with the probate court and pay a filing fee. The summons and petition will be delivered to the proposed ward, and the court will set a hearing date within 30 days.
You may need at least one witness to testify in support of guardianship at your hearing.
A guardianship attorney in Woodridge can help simplify the legal process and take the stress out of its preparation.
Call us at 630-305-0222 to contact our conservatorship lawyer today.
When considering creating a conservatorship in Illinois, it is natural to have questions. These are some of the most frequently asked questions our guardianship attorney in Woodridge receives. We have responded to these conservatorship FAQs with broad answers to provide general information. Sometimes there are exceptions or caveats, so it is best to speak with an experienced conservatorship lawyer for the most accurate information.
Conservators, or guardians of the estate in Illinois, have several responsibilities. They must make decisions regarding the ward’s finances, taxes, property, business affairs, and other estate concerns. The conservator essentially handles all financial needs for the protected person. The conservator's control does not extend beyond finances; they do not control the ward’s health decisions or personal affairs.
Conservatorships are created to protect particularly vulnerable people from abuse and exploitation. A common reason for conservatorships is for a loved one to assume legal guardianship over an incapacitated family member. The conservatorship can be used to handle the ward’s increasing needs, such as their medical, mental health, and financial requirements. Often a conservatorship is created as a way for an adult child to care for an aging parent.
To get a conservatorship in Illinois, you must make a court appointment, where the judge will attend court hearings to decide whether a conservatorship is in the potential ward’s best interests. The court will simultaneously consider the potential conservator's abilities to handle the affairs appropriately. If the court approves the conservatorship, the court will monitor the conservator, who must file annual financial reports. An Illinois conservatorship lawyer can assist you with the process.
In a conservatorship case, the judge appoints an individual as the conservator. The conservator oversees the ward’s welfare. Examples of wards include people who suffer from mental disabilities, physical disabilities, minors, or the elderly. Sometimes these disabilities can be temporary the ward can petition to end the conservatorship once they can prove they can care for themselves.
In Illinois, a conservatorship often lasts for the lifetime of the ward. The conservatorship lasts until a court order proclaims that the ward can handle their affairs or dies. If the conservatorship ends upon death, the conservator continues to maintain some power over the deceased ward’s assets.
When properly created, a conservatorship agreement is a complex legal arrangement. It details the care of people who are classified as incapable of defending themselves. Sometimes conservatorships can be temporary arrangements that courts can end once the ward proves they are no longer incapacitated and are capable of making their own decisions. At this point, terminating the conservatorship is not particularly complicated.
These answers are meant to provide general information about guardianships and conservatorships in Illinois. Every case is unique, and sometimes there are exceptions and caveats to these rules.
Contact the Illinois guardianship lawyer at Wolfe & Stec for personalized guidance on your situation by calling 630-305-0222.
Your guardianship lawyer at Wolfe & Stec will listen to your needs and discuss your legal options. The first thing we will do is to verify that a guardian of the estate is the best legal tool for accomplishing your long-term financial goals, protecting your proposed ward, and ensuring the safety of the estate. If other legal mechanisms are better suited to your needs, we will explain them, along with their benefits and potential pitfalls.
We understand that family law matters can be sensitive. We handle each family matter with the respect and compassion you deserve. Most of our clients who seek conservatorships and guardianships have little background or experience in legal matters. We are happy to explain the process in simple, non-legal terms. Our goal is to provide you with a clear understanding of your legal options. By doing so, we empower you to make the best decision for you and your loved ones based on the information we provide.
Not every petition for guardianship goes according to plan. Sometimes you can face contested cases that require additional legal work to overcome. At Wolfe & Stec, our law firm addresses the potential obstacles to ensure you the best possible results. Our guardianship attorney will assist you through the process every step of the way.
If you are interested in discussing the legalities of conservatorship and guardianships of the estate in Illinois, contact the law office of Wolfe & Stec to arrange for your free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at 630-305-0222.
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