A good Guardianship Attorney is essential to ensure that a disabled child or adult receives the proper care that they deserve. A guardian’s duties are to act in the best interests of the person they are protecting and to comply with court orders and rules. This is a tremendous responsibility that should not be taken lightly.
A parent may choose a sibling, relative, friend, or acquaintance to be their child’s legal guardian in case they can no longer care for them. It is also common for adults who are elderly or have been adjudicated as disabled to establish a guardianship. A seasoned attorney can assist in either situation and help guide family members through the process of getting a court-ordered guardianship for their loved one.
In order to become a legal guardian, an application must be filed with the court and served to the proposed ward. A judge will appoint an attorney ad litem (a “GAL” or “attorney for the child”) who will conduct an investigation into the proposed ward’s needs, welfare and best interests. The GAL’s qualifications and training vary from state-to-state.
The GAL will interview the proposed ward and other interested parties, including social services. The GAL will then file a report with the court detailing their findings. This report will be considered by the judge at a hearing. During the hearing, the GAL will explain to the judge why they feel you are the best guardian for the ward.
Upon approval, the court will issue an order appointing you as the new legal guardian for the ward. If the ward’s parents object to the guardianship, they will have an opportunity to present their arguments at the hearing before the judge. The appointing judge will consider all arguments, including those made by the ward, when making their decision.
Guardianships can be modified or terminated by petitioning the court. This is not uncommon in situations where the ward has had an injury or accident that has changed their ability to manage their affairs or where there has been abuse, neglect or financial mismanagement by the Guardian. A skilled guardianship lawyer can assist in either type of proceeding, as well as defend against misconduct claims that have been brought against a guardian.
Having a seasoned guardianship attorney can make this difficult process much easier and allow the family to focus on the medical care, lifestyle, and financial management of their loved one. A knowledgeable attorney can review an individual’s estate, recommend changes if necessary, and help draft documents that will ensure that any powers granted are used only for the ward’s benefit. In addition, our attorneys can assist in filing required reports and accountings with the court. Contact our firm to learn more about how a Chicago Guardianship Attorney can help you. We offer a free initial consultation and reasonable rates. You may reach us by phone or e-mail to schedule an appointment. We serve clients throughout the greater Chicago area, including Cook County, DuPage County and Kane County.