Minors are accustomed to having a legal guardian who makes large decisions for them. While they may have some say in the matter, the final decision is left to the older party. Unfortunately, some individuals must experience this more than once in their life. Older people or those with disabilities often have to allow a legal guardian to take on the “official” responsibility of legal decision-making. Being the party taking on the guardianship responsibility can be emotionally and physically taxing, but recognizing that your loved one needs help could save them from making irreparable legal decisions.
Signs That Your Loved One Needs Help
Guardianships are most commonly issued when someone has a mental disability or when someone’s age affects their clarity of mind. However, just because a person has mental disabilities does not mean that they should have a legal guardian. The purpose of legal guardianship is to make legal decisions for another person when they have the inability to do so. Thus, potential guardians should evaluate their loved one and their ability to engage in the decision-making process. The Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission suggests answering the following four questions to gauge your loved one’s mental capacity for making decisions:
- Do they understand that a particular decision needs to be made?
- Do they understand the options available in any given decision?
- Do they understand the consequences of each available option?
- After making the decision, are they able to properly inform appropriate parties?
My Loved One Needs Help, But Can I Be Their Guardian?
There are regulations on who can act as a legal guardian to ensure that the individual’s best interests are upheld. Any individual who is over the age of 18, has a “sound” mind, has not been convicted of a serious crime, and is deemed acceptable by the court is eligible to be a legal guardian. Potential guardians must be able to provide the court with proof of an active and suitable course of action for the individual. In some cases, agencies may be appointed as legal guardians – excluding banking institutions and those providing residential services to the individual. Whether private or public, agencies can often provide more active guardianship than the individual’s loved one since they do not have the same emotional ties to the individual. However, family or friends can make the best guardians in some cases since their desire to make good decisions for the individual has a personal connection behind it.
Contact a DuPage County Guardianship Lawyer
Recognizing that your loved one needs help can be difficult, especially for children of the individual. This is one of the many reasons why legal assistance is necessary when making such emotionally-taxing legal decisions. At A. Traub & Associates, our attorneys understand the weight that this decision holds and spend ample time with everyone involved to ensure that your loved one’s best interests are kept in mind throughout the process. If you or your loved one are considering officiating a guardianship agreement, contact our Lombard, IL, guardianship attorneys at 630-426-0196 for legal help.