When an Illinois family member needs constant care and support, it may be necessary for you to step in and protect his or her interests. One way that you can do this is by establishing a legal guardianship. A guardian would have the responsibility of meeting certain needs and making decisions on behalf of a loved one.

There are cases in which it is necessary to set up a guardianship for the care of a minor, but this is not the only reason why your family could benefit from this type of legal protection. Elderly and disabled individuals who may lack the physical or mental capacity to care for themselves may need a guardian at some point.

What is the role of the guardian?

There are various ways a person can receive appointment of a guardian of another person. Sometimes, this happens because of terms of a will, such as a parent naming a guardian for his or her children. In other cases, the court may name a person as a guardian. 

The role of the guardian will depend on the details of the individual situation. As a guardian, you may have to make important decisions regarding the following:

  • Giving consent for medical care that the person may need, including various types of treatment
  • Purchasing or making arrangements for the purchase of food, clothes, cars, personal items and other items a person may need for daily life
  • Education needs, such as tuition
  • Managing finances for the person, including bank accounts and savings

The role of a guardian is important. The responsibilities can be significant, and this obligation can last for a long time. Your job will be to protect the ward and act in his or her own interests during a time when he or she lacks the ability to do so.

Protecting yourself and your loved one

Whether you need to appoint a person as a guardian, seek guardianship of a disabled loved one in need or understand more about your role as a guardian, you have no time to lose. It is beneficial to act quickly to get help and the support you need.

Guardianship can be a sensitive legal issue, but you do not have to navigate these matters on your own. This is a type of protection that may be beneficial for a loved one, or naming a guardian in your will could give you peace of mind for the future.