November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: What Happens When a Loved One Needs Adult Guardianship?

  • Elder Law
what happens when a loved one needs guardianship | estate and probate legal group

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. It is also a reminder that our parents will get older, and their mental capacity may decline. Unfortunately, you may have a time when you need to seek guardianship over a spouse, parent or someone who needs it. This is a huge responsibility, but understanding the steps necessary will help. We are often asked what happens when a loved one needs adult guardianship. What legal steps are required?

What is Adult Guardianship?

When someone is no longer to care for themself, they may need a guardian to watch over them legally. Guardianship, or conservatorship, is when the courts appoint you to make decisions about a person’s care and property. Obtaining adult guardianship allows you to make decisions or to protect the person from elder abuse.

Guardianship can include decisions about their healthcare, finances, safety, food, shelter and day-to-day needs. It’s hard to accept that a parent is aging and needs guardianship. But this important decision should be made with love and understanding. Once you have decided that guardianship is needed, the next step is to find a compassionate and experienced elder attorney.

Steps to Obtain Guardianship

Obtaining adult guardianship over someone is not an easy process. This is a legal decision made by the courts; therefore, there are several legal steps involved:

  • File a petition with the court in the county where the ward resides – Your attorney will include reasons why guardianship is needed and why you are a suitable candidate. In the case of an emergency, you may be able to file for temporary guardianship.
  • Get a hearing date – if the person has family, they must be notified that you are seeking guardianship.
  • At the hearing – you may be asked to provide more proof as to why you want guardianship over someone. At this time, the person can object to your guardianship.
  • If guardianship is granted – the judge will specify your legal powers – such as where the person lives, their medical decisions and financial care.

This is a complicated process, and few non-lawyers can manage all the legal steps on their own. You need an elder law attorney who understands each aspect of guardianship.

Talk to An Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

If you have concerns about a loved one and want to protect them with adult guardianship, a knowledgeable attorney can help you understand the legal process. To set up an initial meeting, contact the estate planning and elder law attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group today at 630-864-5835.  

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties