Unless you’re a guardianship attorney in Chicago, or you’ve served as someone’s guardian before, you probably don’t know a whole lot about guardianship of the elderly. Fortunately, if you need to see a guardianship attorney in Illinois, you’re in the right place to learn more about guardianship of the elderly.

To be sure, guardianship is complicated and you should definitely see a lawyer if you have any questions. But we can still help you get prepared for your first appointment by overviewing guardianship of the elderly.

Two Types of Guardianship in Illinois

There is the Guardian of the Person and the Guardian of the Estate and depending on which type of guardian you are appointed, there are different powers and legal responsibilities. However, even within the two types of guardians there’s another layer of guardianship, called Plenary or Limited Guardianship. With Plenary Guardianship, the disabled person must be deemed completely disabled or unable to understand or communicate what decisions they’d like to make about their life and money. 

However, with Limited Guardianship, the disabled person still has some of the capabilities they need to make personal or financial decisions. This type of guardianship is ordered less often because it’s difficult to establish limits of the guardianship.

The Duties of the Guardian Depend on the Type

As mentioned, there are generally two types of adult guardians and each of these types involves different duties. 

For example, the Guardian of the Person will report to the court each year to inform the court about the person he or she is serving as Guardian for (also known as the ‘ward’). The guardian must tell the court about the ward’s social, physical, and mental condition. The guardian will also have to tell the court about the ward’s living situation and summarize any services—including medical, vocational, or others—provided to the ward.  

The Guardian of the Estate, on the other hand, simply has to provide an accounting of how money was spent to cover the ward’s expenses and appear for the disabled person’s legal proceedings.

Where a Guardianship Attorney near Chicago Comes In

As you’ve likely already seen just by reading this article, guardianship in Illinois can be a complicated process. Even something as seemingly simple as deciding what type of guardianship you’ll need can be overwhelming. And mistakes with this type of legal matter take significant time and expense to fix. That’s why it’s so important to hire a guardianship attorney early on in this process.