Do You Have Special Needs Children? Why You Need To Consider A Trust And Guardianship In Chicago

Special Needs Planning Chicago

Parents all over the country know that they need to make a plan for their children's well being in case they're ever incapacitated or if they pass away unexpectedly. While these decisions can be difficult for families with typical children, they can be even more complicated if one or more of the children have special needs. Special needs children take more consideration so if you have one, use these tips to make sure that they're taken care of after you're gone.

What Does A Trust Do For A Special Needs Child?

Trusts are ideal ways to financially provide for children after you're gone. Since children are too young to effectively manage their money, it goes into a trust where it is held until a child reaches a certain age. A trustee is appointed to manage the money and to ensure that it's used for the child's care, such as medical and education expenses.

However, special needs children often require more assistance. Depending on the level of needs, the children could qualify for government assistance, and any assets that are a part of a special needs trust are not considered when applying for government benefits. This can help ensure that your child qualifies for all the entitlements they should. If the funds are put into a regular trust, the child could be required to use all these funds before they qualify for assistance, leaving them penniless as they grow older.

Why Guardianship In Chicago Is Important

Guardianship in Chicago is important for any parent, but it's especially vital for special needs children. These children could require a great deal of assistance, even after they turn 18. For this reason, parents must choose their guardian carefully. When someone agrees to a guardianship in Chicago for a child with special needs, the guardian needs to know that they're agreeing to be responsible for the child well after he or she turns 18.

Additionally, when you're determining who should provide guardianship in Chicago for your children, realize that a special needs child can require a lot of patience. Many people, especially people who haven't performed day-to-day care for a special needs child, may not have the coping skills and support needed. Before you name someone to provide guardianship in Chicago, have an honest conversation about what this means for his or her lifestyle.

Who Can Help You Arrange A Trust And Guardianship In Chicago?

Once you know who you want to name as a guardian, it's important to contact someone who can help set up a trust and draw up the paperwork for the guardianship in Chicago. Many people are tempted to handle this themselves using DIY forms found on the Internet, but this is a terrible idea. Instead, contact an estate planning attorney who is skilled in trusts and guardianship in Chicago.

If you're not sure how to properly protect your special needs children after you're gone, let Peck Ritchey help. Their experienced and knowledgeable attorneys are well-versed in all aspects of estate planning, including trusts and guardianship in Chicago. To contact an attorney today, please visit http://www.peckbloom.com/peckbloom_contact.html.

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Understanding Guardianship: Chicago’s Peck Ritchey Attorneys Explain What It Is And What It Isn’t

Elder Law ChicagoMost people will tell you that being a guardian means being responsible for another human being for as long as necessary in order to protect them. While a guardianship is certainly about protecting your ward, it's also about a variety of other things, and there are various forms of guardianship in Chicago, each one different from the others. We have several attorneys who concentrate in this type of law who can walk you through the process of establishing a guardianship. In Chicago, your parents' rights or independence could be adversely affected if you don't understand that there are many different forms of guardianship and if you don't choose the appropriate arrangement to protect them. If you would like to be appointed guardian of your parents, the time to tackle the issue is before they need someone rather than when it is too late.

A Guardianship In Chicago That Addresses Day-to-Day Issues

The correct title for a guardianship that covers all of the large and small decisions of daily living, including scheduling doctors' appointments, providing education and comfort, and arranging for any kind of service for your loved one is a Guardianship of the Person. With this, you will be able to shop for groceries, choose a residence and take care of the daily needs of your ward. Being able to make health care and medical decisions for an individual is usually the most important aspect of this kind of guardianship. Chicago families should talk to us about establishing a guardianship of the person before dementia, illness or an accident impairs the ward's judgment. If you wait too long, it could be too late to establish the guardianship without court intervention.

Guardianships Covering Money Issues

Guardianship of the Estate ensures that the individual appointed as the guardian can access and use the funds in an estate in the manner outlined in the will of the person who has passed away. When you are the guardian of an estate, you can make all financial decisions so long as they are in the best interests of the ward. Many people establish this kind of guardianship when their children are still minors.

Guardianship In Chicago Can Be Limited By The Court

A limited guardianship is exactly what it sounds like – it gives the guardian limited rights to make certain decisions for the ward or wards, but not all of them. For instance, you may be appointed guardian of the person but without the ability to access funds set aside in a trust. In many cases, a separate guardian in Chicago is appointed for monetary decisions and for day-to-day decisions. In this way, the ward is protected from unscrupulous guardians who could have too much power over the individual. If the specific powers of a guardian aren't established in the paperwork, the court has the right to outline the specific details of the guardianship, curtailing some powers and upholding others.

Establishing A Testamentary Guardianship

A testamentary guardianship is usually established by parents or individuals who appoint people they approve of and have faith in as guardian of their minor children or ailing parents. In most cases, a will can designate a testamentary guardian or guardians, but these individuals aren't official guardians until the court formally appoints them as such. If you're considering appointing one or more guardians, Chicago attorneys can help you choose the right individuals for the job and walk you through the court process.

A Guardianship That Can Be Revoked

There is a form of guardianship in Chicago that isn't permanent. This is called a temporary guardianship and it's usually set up only in an emergency situation and usually doesn't last longer than sixty days. In most cases, a temporary guardianship is set up to meet an immediate need until a long-term solution can be put into effect or until the ward is recovered and can once again take care of his or her self.

Let Peck Ritchey help you determine what your family's needs are and assist you in choosing the best possible guardianship. Chicago residents who have had guardianships arranged by Peck Ritchey's estate and probate lawyers can rest easy knowing their loved ones are fully protected by law.

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Chicago Guardianship Lawyers Can Protect Elderly Loved Ones

Guardianship law focuses on providing a legal decision maker for a disabled person who cannot make decisions on their own behalf. Guardianship proceedings are most often initiated because the disabled person does not have any power of attorney documents clearly stating their wishes and who they would like to be the decision make should they become incapacitated. For example, if your aging mother is in the later stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia and can no longer pay her bills or make medical decisions with her doctor you may want to become guardian so you have the legal authority to make those decisions on her behalf.

If you are considering seeking guardianship of  a loved one, you should be working closely with a guardianship lawyer who can advise  and guide you through the complex process  of becoming a  guardian.

The Doctor’s Report

To begin the guardianship process, the first document the attorney will ask you to complete  in Illinois is a physician’s report. This report, created by the court, allows the disabled person’s primary physician to detail the extent of their disability and confirm that they are in need of an alternate decision maker. The guardianship attorney will often ask you to have the doctor complete the form prior to your initial consultation.

Choosing the Guardian

When determining who should serve as guardian you need to consider the preferences of the disabled person and what will be best for them. Although a family member is always preferable,  you need to consider location (obviously if someone lives in another state they would not be preferred), and most importantly: who the disabled person is close with, enjoys being around and trusts. Also consider whether or not the guardian would have the time and energy to devote to the disabled person. If there are no eligible candidates within the disabled person’s close circle, there are professional guardians who can step in this role.

How a Guardianship Attorney Can Help

The court system can seem like another planet to a non-attorney. Petitioning for guardianship is a stressful decision in itself, as you are often worried about your elderly loved ones safety and well being. To ensure the process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible you should consider hiring a guardianship attorney who knows the law, has years of experience petitioning for guardianship (and has probably been appointed a guardian ad litem in the past) and knows the judges.

The elder law attorney will also have referrals in the senior community in order to create a multi-disciplinary team to advocate on the disabled person’s behalf, such as doctors, geriatric care managers, social workers, nurses, and/or long-term care or in-home care companies. By having this complete team available for the disabled person, the potential guardian can lay down a concrete plan to present to the judge to prove they are the best for the job.

If you’re already the legal guardian for another person, you may still want to consult with an elder law attorney to ensure you follow proper legal procedure in managing the disabled person’s personal and financial affairs. Chicago estate planning lawyers with litigation experience are valuable allies because they understand how to set up a guardianship properly in order to avoid unpleasant and expensive litigation surrounding an estate. They can also minimize the distress and cost of battling a guardianship issue in court if a problem arises down the road.

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