limited guardianship for adults explained

What is Limited Guardianship in Illinois? | Illinois Limited Guardianship Explained

491399925
Video by Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Article written by Illinois Attorney Kevin O'Flaherty
Updated on
September 20, 2019

In this article we explain Illinois limited guardianship and how it is different than other types of guardianship.  We will answer the question “what is a limited guardianship?” and explain how to appoint a limited guardian for a disabled adult.   

What is Limited Guardianship?

Recall from our article Illinois Guardianship Explained that guardianship is a measure taken when a person is deemed to be unable to make his or her own decisions regarding personal care, health and finances. The most common form of guardianship is plenary, where the guardian is able to make all decisions for a disabled adult.   A limited guardian is appointed when a disabled person is able to make some of the disabled adult’s financial or personal decisions but not all. The decisions that a limited guardian is empowered to make must be specifically stated by the court. In this way, limited guardianship agreements are more personalized to the disabled adult’s specific needs because the disabled adult retains as much control over his or her own affairs as is practicable.

Limited guardianship can be applied to a person’s financial decisions (“guardianship of the estate") or personal decisions such as healthcare (“guardianship of the person”). Common types of limited guardianship include medical, financial, education, residential decisions.  A limited guardian has all the same responsibilities that a guardian has, such as presenting annual reports to the courts.  The limited guardian is just more restricted in which decisions he or she can make.

Since plenary guardianship causes the disabled adult to completely lose all decision-making power, it may be seen as extremely invasive into a person’s life. Despite this, limited guardianship is the least used form of guardianship because most physicians do not fully understand the ability a court has to appoint a limited guardian when a person is able to make some of his/her own decisions.

How to Appoint a Limited Guardian for a Disabled Adult in Illinois

The process of appointing a limited guardian is very similar to that of appointing a plenary guardian. However, when there is a petition for a limited guardianship, the court process becomes more difficult because a physician must present an in-depth analysis of which decisions a person is reasonably able to make on his or her own and then the court must decide which of these rights the disabled adult will retain. Courts normally prefer to appoint a person’s spouse or other close family member as the guardian regardless of whether it is a regular or limited guardian.

Each case of limited guardianship is different and customized to the disabled person. Therefore, guardians must have an in-depth understanding of the decisions they are empowered to make and which decisions the disabled adult retains in order to avoid overstepping the guardian role. Limited guardianship may be considered a slightly smaller responsibility than a plenary guardian, but the limited guardian must still be prepared to devote time to the decisions which need to be made as well as to presenting information clearly to the courts.

Contact us for an appoinment

Additional Financial Considerations
from Financial Experts

From Financial Experts

For many years, financial institutions have been creating a disservice to clients and the industry as a whole for years.
View More Professional Considerations

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our offices in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, St. Charles, Lake in the Hills and Tinley Park, Illinois.

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Adult Guardianships

Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

Here are some articles that may interest you