In Illinois, the court can appoint a guardian for any adult over the age of 18 who cannot understand his or her rights or make his or her own decisions because of a disability or incapacity. What this means to you at the personal level is that if you have an adult special needs child, you can petition the court to become his or her legal guardian in order to protect his or her rights. The same holds true for one or both of your aging parents.
The Illinois Guardianship Association explains that you can petition to become either the limited or plenary, i.e., full, guardian of your adult child depending on his or her level of decisional incapacity.
Illinois law requires you to petition for the least restrictive type of guardianship your adult child or parent needs. Therefore, should he or she require only some types of protection, you can file for a limited guardianship to allow you to protect his or rights in one or more of the following areas:
- Habitational, such as daily support services
If you believe that your adult child or parent requires complete protection, and can show sufficient evidence of that to the court, you should file for a plenary guardianship. If granted, the will transfer all of your child’s or parent’s rights from him or her to you. Consequently, you will become responsible for making all decisions on his or her behalf.
Once the court appoints you as guardian whether plenary or limited, you must receive guardianship training from the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission within one year. Once you complete this required training, the IGAC will issue you a certificate of completion that you must file with the court.