Illinois updated and amended the Guardians for Adults with Disabilities Article of the Illinois Probate Act of 1975. HB 266 deals with how adult guardians are assigned and expands ‘substituted judgment’ by considering the current preferences and wishes of the individual with a disability to the level of their ability to participate in decision-making.
Illinois HB 266 made the following updates to the Guardians for Adults with Disabilities Article:
• Provides that a guardian shall consider the ward’s current preferences to the extent the ward has the ability to participate in decision making when those preferences are known or reasonably ascertainable by the guardian.
• Provides that decisions by the guardian shall conform to the ward’s current preferences unless the guardian reasonably believes that doing so would result in substantial harm to the ward’s welfare or personal or financial interests.
• Provides that if the guardian is unable to ascertain the ward’s preferences, then the decisions may be made by conforming as closely as possible to what the ward would have done or intended under the circumstances.
• Make conforming changes.
The new law was signed by Governor JB Pritzker on August 6 and went into effect immediately.
The Illinois Probate Act provides protections for adult disabled persons who can no longer manage their own affairs. Prior to 1979, disabled persons were called “incompetent” and “conservators” were appointed by Probate Court to care for the disabled person’s estate and finances. In 1979, the Illinois Probate Act was amended to provide statutory protection for disabled persons, and new procedures to appoint a guardian and supervise the disabled person and their estate were created.
Illinois law provides two types of adult guardianships:
1. Guardian of the Person
A guardian of the person has responsibility for making decisions regarding personal matters such as health care and housing for the incapacitated person, who is often referred to as the “ward.”
An estate guardian has the responsibility for caring for the incapacitated person’s property and financial affairs. He or she is responsible for paying bills and managing property and finances. Depending on the circumstances, a ward may need a guardian of his or her person, property, or both.
Do you have questions about adult guardianships in Illinois? An experienced adult guardianship attorney can explain the system and your rights under the law as a guardian or as an individual who is under a guardianship.
An experienced Lombard guardianship attorney can help you understand the legal process in guardianship cases, represent you in court, suggest alternatives to guardianship, or provide other assistance as you seek to protect you and your family’s legal rights. To talk to a Cook and DuPage County Illinois guardianship attorney, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group in DuPage County, Illinois, today at 630-864-5835.