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Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162

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Hillside guardianship attorneyEvery child deserves to live in a loving household, with the ideal goal being two loving parents who can care for them. In today’s world, however, this is not always the case. Some families have single parents, others have blended households, and some children lose their parents at a young age. If a child’s parents die unexpectedly, and a Will that outlines those parents’ wishes was not  prepared,,  a  court will need to determine what the next best course of action will be regarding who will take care of the child. Throughout the U.S., anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor and must have a legal guardian caring for them. For some children, this  could require another family member taking care of them , while for other children, foster care may be their only option. 

Determining Legal Guardianship

Older children who have a younger sibling will often seek to become their legal guardian and thereby keep their brother or sister outside of the foster care system. While this is an admirable goal, it is not always feasible, and it is ultimately up to a  court to make this decision. It may seem like the obvious choice to keep siblings together, but there are a number of circumstances that must be considered before the court will allow this arrangement to become legally enforceable. According to Illinois law, a legal guardian must meet the following criteria:

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Hillside guardianship attorneyTaking on the responsibility of becoming another person’s legal guardian is laudable, but it can also be very difficult. This is especially true for children who are becoming their parents’ legal guardian. Having to take on the role of caregiver to your own parent can be physically and emotionally taxing, and some people may not even know if their parents meet the criteria for needing a legal guardian. Before taking legal action on behalf of your loved one, review your ability to become a legal guardian, as well as the common signs that show they need this additional support.

Who Can Be a Guardian?

When petitioning to become a legal guardian, there are a few minimum requirements that you must meet, before a judge can even determine if you are the right person to fulfill this role. Under Illinois law, legal guardians must: be at least 18 years of age, be of “sound mind,” have never been convicted of a serious crime, and be deemed a suitable guardian by the court. In addition, those who wish to become a legal guardian must demonstrate their ability to provide a suitable plan in their role as guardian. 

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Oak Park, IL legal guardianship attorneySeeing your parents age and develop limitations which make it seem like they may be incapable of fully caring for themselves can be a difficult stage to reach as a child. Maybe you have children of your own, or perhaps you live far away from your parents, making it difficult to care for them or to determine if legal action should be taken to protect them. For adults who become incapable of living on their own and making well-reasoned decisions, the need for guardianship often becomes a reality. Before taking action and deciding that guardianship is the correct path for your family member, it is important to recognize the signs of a loved one in need of help, and to fully understand what legal guardianship involves.

Assessing Your Loved One’s Needs

Illinois law states that anyone age 18 or older is assumed to be capable of handling their own affairs, recognizing them as legal adults. However, certain circumstances can cause a person to become incapable of making their own decisions. A legal guardian may be appointed if a person is disabled because of mental deterioration, mental illness, physical incapacity, and/or developmental disabilities. The purpose of a guardian is to help the individual make decisions, knowing that a sound mind is behind the decisions being made.

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Hillside, IL legal guardianship attorneyThe day that a child must become a parental figure for their own parent is not a day that anyone looks forward to. While you may not be parenting in the sense of teaching them right from wrong or watching them grow up, you may reach a time in which you need to step in because your parents or other loved ones are unfit to take care of their own affairs. Becoming your parent’s legal guardian can be a difficult task, but it may be necessary in some situations. In some cases, a legal guardian may also need to be named for a disabled person, and this kind of guardian does not have to be related to the disabled person to be named as their guardian. 

It is important to understand what this new role of being a guardian entails. There are a number of different types of guardianships, each of which allots different responsibilities to the guardian. The person a guardian provides care for is known as a ward. Depending on the level of competency of the ward, as well as their needs, the duties and responsibilities of a guardian may vary. The following are the common types of guardianships granted in Illinois:

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