Guardianship in Estate Planning, How Guardianship Works

The concept of guardianship in estate planning can be difficult to navigate for family members. In order to determine the guardian of an estate, or the persons who can serve as guardians, the estate planning process requires a good deal of legal documents that outline the types of guardianship. If you have a relative who is 18 or older and who can no longer make decisions about financial or other matters, establishing a guardianship through the circuit court may be necessary. Making such a major decision can be life changing and emotional, it should not be taken lightly. A judge may appoint a legal guardian if a person has an issue related to a mental, physical or developmental disability that prevents them from safely exercising their independence to its fullest extent.

For someone facing major medical challenges, there are often a slew of routines that need to remain in place in order to uphold their lives day to day. When they are unable to fulfill these responsibilities themselves without assistance, that is when the legal and recognized appointment of a guardian comes into play for them. With a guardianship of a person, the court will appoint someone to attend to the disabled individual’s needs regarding health and daily matters. This may include duties such as scheduling doctors appointments, transportation, ordering medication, and other activities. Another process is the guardianship of an estate. In this case, managing someone’s estate would involve the overseeing of the individual’s finances, such as paying bills and handling monthly expenses and budget for the disabled person. In many cases, one person can be appointed guardian for both responsibilities covering health and financial support.

Who Represents The Person Who Is Disabled?

Regardless of someone’s physical or mental state, they have certain unalienable rights as a citizen of the United States of America. When in the midst of guardianship discussions, many of the persons in the case end up getting taken advantage of because of their age, or physical or mental state. To combat any potential sway in decision making, in the state of Illinois, most courts make the neutral choice to appoint a guardian ad litem. This is a lawyer who offers an unbiased opinion to the judge about whether a guardianship is necessary. The guardian ad litem’s responsibility is to look out for the best interests of the person who is disabled.

What About Power Of Attorney?

In some situations, creating a power of attorney may be an option. But typically when someone is seeking a way to take care of financial matters for an adult who is disabled, guardianship is the only option.

Seek Assistance From A Highly Experienced Guardianship Attorney

Rightly so, guardianships require solid validation that a person is actually incapable of taking care of their daily personal matters, whether it be health or financial. Our firm has worked in this area of law for several years, with our attorney often serving as the appointed guardian ad litem for cases in local courts.

This gives the firm unique insight and experience into these kinds of cases. We can offer honest, accurate advice about your best legal options.Bassett & Gabriel Law Office, P.C., serves the Madison County community with quality legal advocacy and an enthusiasm for helping individuals.  Call the firm in Wood River, Illinois, to speak with our lawyers at 618-254-0141. If you prefer, send us an email.