The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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What Are the Different Types of Adult Guardianship in Illinois?

Posted on in Guardianship

North Aurora guardianship attorney

When you think of guardianships, you may think of a person who is legally appointed to care for a child when that child’s parents are unable to do so. While this definition is accurate, that is not the only form of guardianship. Some adults are also in need of guardians. In the state of Illinois, the probate court is entirely responsible for granting guardianships to adults in need. Illinois has some of the most progressive and protective laws concerning adult guardianship. Rather than deeming a disabled adult “incompetent,” as was necessary prior to 1979, the needs of adults are measured through a clinical report put together by the court, and their guardianship will be tailored to meet their needs.

Who Can Have a Guardian Appointed to Them?

Like other states, Illinois law presumes that those who are over the age of 18 are able to handle their own affairs. In some situations, however, a person may be incapable of making important decisions or taking care of themselves for various reasons. Illinois law may grant guardianships to people who are disabled because of:

  • Mental deterioration

  • Physical incapacity

  • Mental illness

  • Physical disability

Just because a person is disabled, however, does not mean that he or she is not able to take care of himself or herself and handle his or her own affairs. To show a need for a guardian, it must be shown that the person’s disability prevents that individual from making or communicating responsible and reasonable decisions about his or her personal affairs.

Limited Guardianship Versus Plenary Guardianship

There are many different types of guardianships, but the two main types are limited and plenary guardianship. As the name might suggest, limited guardianship only gives the guardian a certain amount of decision-making power. This type of guardianship is used when a disabled person is able to make some, but not all, decisions about his or her affairs. The court will only allow the guardian to make decisions about specific things, depending on the disabled person’s limitations. The court order will specify exactly what decisions the guardian is permitted to make for the disabled person.

In a plenary guardianship, the guardian has the power to make all decisions about personal care and/or finances of the disabled person. This is used when a disabled person is mentally and/or physically unable to make his or her own decisions about his or her life. 

Contact a Geneva Family Law Attorney

At some point, you will probably have a family member or a close friend who needs care. It is important to understand the legal process that you must go through to become his or her guardian or appoint a guardian to him or her. The guardianship process can be complicated, which is why help from a skilled Kane County guardianship lawyer is advised. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you protect your loved ones by walking you through the legal steps for obtaining guardianship. Call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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