Under Illinois law, guardianship gives an individual authority over another person’s financial and healthcare decisions. Usually, guardianship is used to care for a minor child or a disabled adult. A guardianship action is initiated by filing a petition for guardianship and attending a hearing. The court evaluates the evidence presented and makes a determination about the proposed guardianship. This process can be lengthy and complex.
An emergency guardianship or temporary guardianship covers the time between when the petition is filed and the final order is entered by the court. It is used if there is an imminent threat of harm to an individual or an individual’s estate and there are no reasonable alternatives.
The Basics of Emergency Guardianship in Illinois
Often, emergency guardianship is needed to protect someone from financial exploitation or abuse. The person seeking emergency guardianship must show that emergency guardianship is needed to protect a person or a person’s estate from immediate harm. An emergency guardianship is usually only valid for up to 60 days or until a final guardianship order is entered by the court. During this time, the guardian is responsible for acting in the ward’s best interest and protecting his or her health and finances.
Examples of Situations in Which Emergency Guardianship May Be Necessary
Illinois courts want to preserve an individual’s independence and freedom whenever possible, and guardianship is an extreme intervention. Consequently, the court will only appoint a temporary guardian on an emergency basis if it is in the ward’s best interests. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the facts and provide a recommendation to the court.
Examples of situations in which emergency guardianship may be necessary include:
- An older adult who is incapacitated by dementia is being taken advantage of financially by another person or persons
- A person shows significant signs of incapacitation due to drug abuse, mental illness, or a sudden medical condition and can no longer make sound decisions about healthcare or finances
- Legal proceedings have been initiated to remove a guardian who is not acting in the best interests of the ward and an emergency guardianship is needed to provide a temporary replacement guardian for the ward
Contact Our Wheaton Guardianship Lawyer
If you want to learn more about guardianship, contact our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys for help. We can sit down with you and explain all of your options and then help you take the steps needed for your particular situation. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] and set up your free initial consultation today.