When making decisions, we all rely on help from others. We sometimes discuss a big purchase, a move to a new city or a new lifestyle. When a person can no longer make these decisions for themselves, the courts may often assign guardianship. This can be used with older adults with the beginnings of dementia, those who have mental disabilities or someone who has a temporary break from reality. Guardianship can be restrictive, so Illinois recently passed the Supported Decision Making Act.
Guardianship is a term that refers to the legal right to make decisions for someone else. Complete guardianship takes away many legal rights for a person to make decisions and choices about their life. But what happens if the individual does not need full guardianship?
Learn more about guardianship here:
The Brittany Effect: Guardianship Protections Under the Illinois Probate Act
What To Do When A Parent Needs Guardianship
What Is Short-Term Limited Guardianship
But there is an alternative to guardianship.
Supported decision making is a flexible process that allows people to obtain guidance and support without giving up their legal right to make their own decisions. The person chooses a person or team of trusted people to help understand, make and communicate decisions. They may rely heavily on their support, but ultimately, the decision is theirs.
In 2022, the Supported Decision Making Act went into effect in Illinois. It empowers individuals to use a support team to help make the right decisions. Communication between the individual and their support team is vital in helping promote self-efficiency and control.
Under the Act, the person fills out a Supported Decision Making Agreement that identifies the individual, the support team, and areas where they need help.
Some decisions the team may discuss are:
Establishing supported decisions making is an important step and one you shouldn’t make without legal help. An experienced guardianship attorney can help you develop the beginnings of a support team.
Guardianship and supported decision making can be complicated. A knowledgeable Illinois attorney can help you understand the legal process for Support Decisions Making. And we can provide other assistance as you seek to protect you and your family’s legal rights. To set up an initial meeting, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group today at 630-864-5835.
AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake and Will counties