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Principled Advocacy For Families And Individuals With Disabilities And The Professionals Who Serve Them

What are the requirements for guardianship in Illinois?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Guardianship

Guardianship is a legal process that appoints someone to make decisions for another individual who is deemed unable to do so themselves. This can be due to a minor’s age, an adult’s disability or even an older adult’s declining mental faculties.

If you’re considering becoming a guardian in Illinois, understanding the requirements and the process is crucial. With a roadmap outlining the qualifications to become a guardian, the different types of guardianship available and the general steps involved in obtaining guardianship, you can get started immediately.

Who can be a guardian?

The Prairie State has specific criteria for who can become a guardian. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old and a resident of the United States
  • Be of sound mind and not legally disabled yourself
  • Possess a clean background, free of felony convictions involving harm or threat to a child (or a vulnerable adult in the case of an adult guardianship)
  • Demonstrate the ability to provide a well-defined plan for caring for the individual under your guardianship

In most cases, the court will prioritize appointing a close relative as guardian, such as a spouse, adult child, sibling or grandparent.

Understanding the different types of guardianship

There are two main types of guardianship: guardianship for a minor and guardianship for an adult. The first type is established when a minor child loses parental care due to factors like death, abandonment or parental inability.

The second is established when an adult (18 years or older) is deemed incapable of making responsible decisions due to a disability, mental illness or cognitive decline. Depending on the ward’s specific needs, the guardian’s authority can be limited or plenary.

Becoming a guardian is a significant responsibility. While the information above provides a general overview, consulting with a reliable legal team for specific guidance on your situation is important. They can advise you on the appropriate type of guardianship, navigate the legalities of the process and help ensure you are well-prepared to advocate for your loved one.