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The role of a guardian in Illinois

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Child Custody, Family Law |

In Illinois, a guardian is a court-appointed person who makes decisions and takes care of the well-being of another person, known as the ward. This appointment may be necessary if the ward is a minor or an adult who cannot make decisions for themselves due to mental or physical disability.

Types of guardians

Family law courts appoint several guardian types in Illinois, including:

  • Guardians of the person: A guardian of the person is responsible for making decisions about the ward’s physical care, such as where they will live and what medical treatment they will receive.
  • Guardians of the estate: A guardian of the estate is responsible for managing the ward’s financial affairs and assets.
  • General guardians: A general guardian has personal and financial responsibilities for the ward.
  • Temporary guardians: A temporary guardian may be appointed on a short-term basis to address an urgent need or emergency situation.

Becoming a guardian

To become a guardian in Illinois, you must be at least 18 years old and a state resident. You must also be willing and able to perform the duties of a guardian. Becoming a guardian typically involves petitioning the court and demonstrating that you are suitable for the role. This petition may involve providing references, undergoing a background check, and attending a court hearing.

Responsibilities of a guardian

The responsibilities of a guardian in Illinois are in the state’s Probate Act. Some of the duties of a guardian may include:

  • Providing for the ward’s physical needs, such as food, shelter, and medical care
  • Making decisions about the ward’s education, medical treatment, and other vital matters
  • Managing the ward’s assets and financial affairs
  • Reporting to the court on the ward’s well-being and the guardianship arrangement

Being a guardian in Illinois is a serious responsibility that requires time, effort, and dedication. It is essential for guardians to understand their duties and to act in the best interests of the ward at all times.


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