The law in Illinois presumes that anyone over the age of eighteen is able to make their own decisions about their lives or their money. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, such as when a person suffers from mental deterioration, mental illness, or debilitating physical disability. In these instances, a person over the age of eighteen may seek a court order that appoints them as guardian of the person, or guardian of the estate.
A Court May Appoint a Temporary Guardian
Obtaining guardianship of a person requires a court order, which can often take a long time. Unfortunately, there are times when waiting for a formal guardianship appointment is not possible. In cases of emergency, Illinois law allows for the appointment of a temporary guardian for a disabled adult. Some examples of this may include:
- An adult is acting in a manner that is imminently detrimental to his or her own health or well-being.
- An adult is quickly wasting his or her own estate in a manner that opens the family to suffering or ruin.
- Another caretaker is acting in a manner that harms the disabled adult or their estate.
The Illinois Probate Act allows for the appointment of a temporary guardian “upon a showing of the necessity therefor for the immediate welfare and protection of the alleged person with a disability or his or her estate on such notice and subject to such conditions as the court may prescribe.” Further, the Probate Act establishes that “the immediate welfare and protection of the alleged person with a disability and his or her estate shall be of paramount concern, and the interests of the petitioner, any care provider, or any other party shall not outweigh the interests of the alleged person with a disability.”
The Temporary Guardianship Expires Within 60 Days
Until a hearing on the guardianship petition can be heard, the temporary guardian will be granted “limited powers and duties” that are specifically stated in the court order. A temporary guardianship expires within 60 days of the initial appointment, with a few exceptions, including a pending adjudication of disability. Further, the sixty days may be extended in cases where there has already been an adjudication of disability and there is an appeal of that decision, an existing guard has died or become incapacitated, or the citation proceedings have not finished.
A Probate Attorney Can Help You
If you are considering the pursuit of a guardianship appointment of an adult, you should consult with an attorney before taking any action. A probate lawyer can help you to understand the law and can help you determine whether you should pursue such appointment. I have practiced probate law for over twenty years and will provide you with prompt, no-nonsense legal counsel. Call The Law Offices of Robert S. Thomas at 847-392-5893 for a consultation or visit our website today.