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Wheaton Guardianship Attorney

Naperville Law Firm for Establishing Guardianship of Disabled Adults, Children and Elderly

Glendale Heights Guardianship Attorneys

There are many situations in which biological parents become unable to care for their children. For children whose parents are deceased, absent, incarcerated, performing military service overseas, incapacitated due to illness, or are otherwise unfit or unavailable, other adults often step in to provide care. Adults who are elderly, incapacitated, or developmentally disabled may also require the care of a family member or close friend. In these cases, the people providing care may decide to seek legal guardianship in order to provide all parties with legal protections.

Guardianship of a Child

When someone provides a parental role for children in their care, they can become the child's permanent legal guardian if they are at least 18 years old, they are of sound mind, they are not legally disabled, and they have not been convicted of a felony involving harm or threat to a child. A legal guardian will provide food, housing, clothing, and education for the child, and they have the authority to make decisions related to school enrollment, medical care, and any property or assets the child owns.

In addition to permanent legal guardianship, there are two types of temporary guardians for children:

  • A standby guardian may be chosen by a child's parents or appointed by the court to care for children when the parents are unable to provide care. Standby guardians must be named in court and approved by a judge, and standby guardianship can last for up to one year.
  • A short-term guardian can be appointed by a child's parent in a written agreement, without the need to go to court. Both of a child's parents must provide consent, unless one parent is deceased, cannot be found, or has had their parental rights terminated. Short-term guardianship can last for up to one year, and the guardianship agreement should state the exact date on which the guardianship will end and whether the guardianship will be terminated upon the occurrence of a specific event, such as the parent's release from prison. Short-term guardianship can be revoked at any time by the child's parent.

Guardianship of an Adult

Adults over the age of 18 who are unable to make or communicate their own decisions about finances or healthcare may require a legal guardian to make these decisions for them. This used to be known as "conservatorship," but it now consists of two types of adult guardianship:

  • A guardian of a person who is able to make decisions about personal care, including medical treatment, living arrangements, social services, and any other needs
  • A guardian of an estate who is able to make decisions about finances and property

In adult guardianship cases, guardians must be appointed by a court, and they can be named as the guardian of a person, an estate, or both. The court can appoint them as a limited guardian, specifying which decisions they are able to make, or as a plenary guardian, giving them the power to make all decisions that come with their type of guardianship.

Legal Assistance In Guardianship Cases

If you are providing care or assistance to an elderly or disabled adult, or if you serve a parental role to minor children in your care, establishing guardianship can provide you with legal protection and give you the power to make important decisions. The family law attorneys at Anderson and Associates, P.C. can help you understand the legal procedures that must be followed, and we will work with you to complete the process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Contact a Wheaton guardianship lawyer at 630-653-9400 to schedule an initial consultation. We serve clients throughout DuPage County.

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