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

630-409-8184

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

Aurora, Illinois Adult Guardianship Attorney

Adult Guardianship Attorney

Lawyer in Kane County Protecting Adults With Disabilities

At one point or another, almost all of us will need help of some type from another person. For many of us, the need will be temporary, such as while recovering from an illness, injury, or surgery. For other people, however, the need for help will be much more serious and will last for much longer—possibly for the rest of their lives. Issues such as cognitive impairments, physical disabilities, and advancing age all can force an individual to rely on the assistance of others. In some situations, a person might even struggle to manage the everyday affairs of his or her life.

I am Attorney Matthew M. Williams of the The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., and I have been helping protect the rights of adults with disabilities for more than 15 years. With my experience and legal knowledge, I understand the challenges that disabled adults face every day. If you have a loved one who is in need of assistance, I can help you decide if seeking guardianship of your loved one is the best course of action.

Understanding Adult Guardianship in Illinois

Under Illinois law, you can only be appointed as the guardian of an adult by the court, and only if the court determines that the adult is disabled to a degree that makes a guardianship appropriate. The law defines a qualifying disability as any physical, emotional, mental, or other condition that limits a person in making responsible decisions regarding his or her affairs or communicating such decisions to others. The court could enter a finding of disability based on:

  • Physical limitations, including conditions that limit speech;
  • Psychological disorders or mental illness;
  • Developmental disorders; or
  • Cognitive impairment or deteriorated mental abilities due to health or advanced age.

A qualifying disability could be caused by a sudden event, such as a severe accident or acquired illness, or the disability could develop over time, such as impairments caused by age or degenerative disease.

Types of Guardianship

If you wish to be appointed as your loved one's guardian, you have the right to ask the court to do so. It will be under the court's authority, however, to decide how much help and the type of help your loved one actually needs. In Illinois, there are two basic areas of responsibility related to guardianships. If your loved one needs help with his or her financial affairs, including paying bills and managing a home, the court could name you as "guardian of the estate." By comparison, you could be named as "guardian of the person" if your loved one needs help with health care and medical-related decisions. As guardian of your loved one's person, you can also help him or her apply for government aid programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. At the court's discretion, you could be appointed to serve in both capacities, or a different person could be named to each role.

In addition, the amount of authority that you have as a guardian will depend on the circumstances of the situation. For example, the court could limit your guardianship responsibilities to helping your loved one pay his or her household bills while not allowing you to make long-term investment decisions on your loved one's behalf. In situations where your loved one needs significant help, however, the court could give you virtually unlimited authority to make decisions for him or her indefinitely.

Powers of Attorney in Illinois

Depending on your loved one's circumstances and type of disability, he or she could grant you authority similar to a guardianship by drafting a power of attorney. Signing a power of attorney document can allow your loved one to appoint you to make decisions on his or her behalf without waiting for guardianship proceedings to be finalized. Illinois law recognizes two types of powers of attorney: a power of attorney for property, which gives authority to make decisions about financial and money matters, and a power of attorney for healthcare, which gives authority to make decisions about health and medical issues. I can help you determine if a power of attorney is right for your unique situation.


Call 630-409-8184 for Guardianship Guidance

At Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., the issue of guardianship is one that is taken very seriously. I know that the process of being appointed a guardian is difficult and intensely personal, and I am committed to helping you help the ones you love. For more information, contact our office. Call 630-409-8184 for a confidential consultation today. I serve clients in Yorkville, Oswego, Geneva, St. Charles, Sugar Grove, Aurora, Batavia, Naperville, Wheaton, DuPage County, Kane County, and Kendall County.

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

630-409-8184

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

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