Guardianships can be an essential part of an Illinois estate plan. If you have minor children or care for a disabled adult, you need to put preparations in place in case a catastrophe happens. Guardianships can also be helpful for older people who may be struggling to manage their own affairs.
To understand the different types of guardianships, it is important to speak with an Illinois estate planning attorney who can help you decide what type of guardianship best fits your individual circumstances.
Guardian of the Estate Vs. Guardian of the Person
When someone is appointed to be a guardian of the person for a minor child or disabled adult (known as a ward), he or she will be responsible for the healthcare, educational needs, support, comfort, and any other matters related to the personal care of the ward. A person appointed as a guardian of the estate will look after the ward’s finances and personal assets. The court may appoint a guardian of the estate when someone is unable to properly manage their assets or make financial decisions. A guardian may need to use estate assets to cover living arrangements, bills, education costs, and any other matters that relate to the ward’s support and comfort.
It is possible for separate people to be appointed as a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate. For example, someone who has a sizeable and complex estate may require a guardian of the estate with special expertise and qualifications. While a bank might be the right option to be a guardian of someone’s estate, they are not the right fit to be a personal guardian who takes care of and supports the ward.
Length of Guardianships
Depending on the situation, the court may award different types of guardianships. There is an option for permanent guardianship when someone has permanent responsibility over the ward. This is often the case with a child whose parents have both died.
A limited guardianship is an option for someone who does not require extensive supervision. In this type of guardianship, decisions may be limited to whatever extent is necessary based on the needs of the ward. This means the guardian will only make certain decisions, and the ward can make their own decisions for everything else.
Plenary guardianship is the term for a combination of a guardian of the person and a guardian of the estate. Under this type of guardianship, the person has the authority to make decisions related to personal care as well as financial decisions involving the estate. A plenary guardianship can be awarded for a short-term duration, or it can be permanent.
Contact a Naperville Guardianship Lawyer
If you have any questions about guardianships, it is important to speak with a skilled DuPage County estate planning attorney who can walk you through the process of appointing a guardian or establishing guardianship for someone in your care. At Momkus, LLC we have years of experience with guardianships and estate planning. Contact our team today at 630-434-0400 to schedule a consultation.