People who are disabled either due to an illness or injury or simply on account of condition they have had since early childhood may require a lot of care and support. Likewise, an Illinois resident getting along in years may suddenly find himself no longer capable of handling his basic financial or personal affairs.
In these sorts of circumstances, the person's loved ones may discover that they need legal authority to assist their friend or relative by caring for them and managing their property. While certain estate planning documents, like a power of attorney, can allow a person to confer this authority on someone they trust in advance. At other times, it is necessary for a family in the Chicago area to go to an Illinois court for help after the fact.
The way for getting help with receiving the necessary legal authority to care for a disabled loved one is called a guardianship. Obtaining a guardianship, however, is not a simple matter, even if the person's friends and family are in agreement about all the important questions. Of course, disagreements make the process all the more complicated.
It takes more than just documenting someone has an illness or other issue that makes her life difficult. A family wishing to create a guardianship will have to have objective medical evidence that the would-be ward. That is, the protected person, really cannot be expected to communicate or make even minimally responsible adult decisions.
On a practical level, getting a guardianship means filing detailed paperwork and making an appearance in court in front of a judge to present evidence. Even after a guardianship is approved, the guardian will have ongoing responsibilities, including ongoing reporting responsibilities to the court overseeing the matter. For these reasons, attorneys are often helpful to families who are considering guardianship as an option.