In a perfect world, everyone plans ahead for the possibility that they may be incapacitated. This includes executing appropriate powers of attorney, which allows an agent to make decisions on their behalf in the event that they become unable to do so themselves. However, many adults do not plan adequately or their plans fail in some way, resulting in the need for a guardianship. This is an important and delicate process, and should be handled by a dedicated legal team.
A Chicago Family Lawyer can help you pursue the right arrangement for your loved one. It is possible to have a guardianship of the person, allowing you to make daily decisions for your ward, or a property guardianship, enabling you to manage their estate and finances (including any inherited assets). It is also possible to be both personal and property guardians, but the arrangement must be carefully considered to ensure that your ward’s needs are fully met.
Guardianship proceedings may be initiated by the alleged incapacitated individual, by their friends or family, or by the Court. The Court must determine whether the individual is able to provide for their personal needs and/or property management, or that there is a significant risk of harm if the alleged incapacitated person does not have a guardian.
During the proceeding, all parties involved must be properly served with a copy of the petition and any other relevant papers. In addition, the Court will appoint an attorney for the alleged incapacitated person, and the Court evaluator will be responsible for reviewing records, interviewing the alleged incapacitated person, the proposed guardians, and other interested parties.
As the guardian, you must regularly report to the Court regarding your ward’s status and submit an annual account of their financial matters. The Court examiner will also review these reports and will continue to oversee the guardian on behalf of the Court. In some cases, the Court will also appoint an independent evaluator to conduct a thorough investigation and make recommendations on the matter.
It is also possible to terminate a guardianship when it is no longer needed. In order to do so, you will need to file a petition with the Court, along with a citation or notice, depending on the status of your ward. You must also serve copies of the legal documents to your ward, their attorneys, any other relevant relatives, and any others who are interested in the matter.
Contacting a Chicago Guardianship Attorney is a smart move for any adult who wants to ensure that their wishes are carried out in the event that they become incapacitated. While it is always preferred that parents take care of their own children, in some cases this is not possible and a guardianship will need to be established. An experienced attorney can guide you through this process. For more information, call Davis & Associates today. Our experienced and compassionate team will ensure that your loved ones are well-cared for.