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Estate Planning

Special Needs

Powers and Duties of a Guardian of the Person

The purpose of this article is to explain the powers and duties of a Guardian of the Person in Illinois adult guardianships.  In broad terms, a guardian of the person is an individual appointed by the court to make non-financial decisions on behalf of a disabled or mentally incompetent adult. This is distinguished from a guardian of the estate, who is charged with making financial decisions on behalf of the disabled adult.  ​

The powers of a guardian of the person are very broad, but are subject to the review of the guardianship court. The guardianship court can override the guardian’s decisions if the court finds that they are not in the disabled adult’s best interests.

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How to File a Petition for Adult Guardianship

Adult Guardianship proceedings are court cases whereby an individual is appointed to be responsible for the personal care and management of the finances of an adult who is mentally incompetent. In order to initiate an adult guardianship proceeding in Illinois, the person seeking to be appointed as guardian must file a Petition for Guardianship with the appropriate court. 

The goal of this article is to explain how to prepare and file a petition for adult guardianship in Illinois.  For a broader overview of the adult guardianship process, check out our previous article: Adult Guardianship in Illinois Explained.

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How to Choose a Trustee for Your Trust

Choosing a trustee is, perhaps, the most difficult decision you must make when completing an estate plan. Do you choose a family member or friend to be trustee?  Why would you want a professional trustee?  What should I look for in a trustee? What are the advantages of choosing a professional trustee? 

Great Power

Your trustee will hold great power.  That power comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility.  Here is a short list of things a trustee is responsible for:  collecting all assets, managing taxes, investments and real estate, following ever-changing rules, regulations, and laws and is personally responsible for all trust assets, distributions, filings, and document compliance.  The trustee must also take care of beneficiary needs, answer beneficiary questions and account to all involved.  Leaving your care and your beneficiaries in the hands of someone not qualified to administer trusts can be detrimental.  Time, experience, resources and oversite favor choosing a professional trustee to serve you and yours:

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