Your loved one is disabled and can no longer make important decisions regarding their finances and other aspects of their life. Perhaps they are elderly and suffer from Alzheimer’s or some other debilitating condition, and they do not have the mental capacity to make financial decisions and manage their own care and daily needs.
The court appointed someone as a guardian of your family member, but since that time, you have significant concerns about how the guardian is fulfilling their duties and treating your loved one. The State of Illinois has enacted some of the most progressive laws in the country to protect disabled and elderly residents from guardianship abuse, but you need someone on your side who understands the law and can advise you about your rights and options.
If you feel the guardian of your loved one is not acting in the best interests of your family member, you can contact the Bolingbrook guardian litigation attorneys of Peck Ritchey, LLC for help. As one of Illinois’ premier estate and guardianship litigation firms, we have helped hundreds of clients throughout Bolingbrook and across the Chicagoland area. You can turn to us to assist you in holding the guardian of your loved one accountable and getting the justice your family member deserves.
Contact us today at (855) 328-5787 or through our law firm’s online contact form to request a free initial consultation.
What Is Guardianship?
Courts appoint guardians to help a disabled or elderly individual when that person can no longer make or communicate important, reasonable, and prudent decisions regarding their finances and personal care. The person under guardianship is called the ward or dependent. The Illinois Probate Act lists two types of guardianships: limited and plenary.
Limited guardians can only make certain decisions on the ward’s behalf regarding their finances and personal care, and the court specifies those limitations when establishing the guardianship. On the other hand, a plenary guardian can make virtually all decisions about finances, personal care, and other matters on behalf of the ward.
In certain situations, usually in emergencies, the court may also establish a temporary guardian to protect the ward for up to 60 days.
Whatever type of guardianship your loved one received, if the guardian has not conducted their duties properly, promptly, or ethically, and you are no doubt worried about your loved one’s well-being and safety, as well as their finances. You need to understand your options with regard to holding the person accountable and perhaps removing them from their position.
Types of Guardianship Issues
Guardians have many duties they must perform, and they must do so with the best interest of the ward in mind. Some guardians, however, neglect or abuse their duties, and you have every right to hold them accountable and obtain a satisfactory outcome to your problem through legal avenues, if necessary. Some of the most common forms of guardianship abuse and neglect include:
- Breach of fiduciary duty – The guardian must always act in good faith and in accordance with the terms and stipulations outlined by the court. They must be honest and trustworthy and conduct their duties with the best interest of the ward in mind. If they breach this fiduciary duty, you can hold them accountable.
- Stealing or embezzling funds – Since they have control over a ward’s finances, guardians can easily pilfer funds from the ward’s accounts or steal money from them in some other way.
- Elder abuse – The abuse can be physical, mental, financial, or sexual, or the guardian may purposefully isolate the ward from friends and family.
- Unqualified – Guardians must be an adult over the age of 18 with no felony convictions on their record. They should also be of sound mind and have the physical and mental capacity themselves to fulfill their duties.
Other issues can arise with a guardian, and the attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC can discuss the particulars of your situation with you.
Having successfully handled hundreds of guardianship litigation cases over the years, our lawyers possess the knowledge and experience to help you with your unfortunate situation. We will fight hard to help protect the rights of your loved one while holding the guardian responsible for their actions.
Seek Legal Help for Guardian Issues
Since the establishment of a guardianship is a court process and the State of Illinois has some of the most stringent protections in place for dependents, you have the law on your side. If you suspect negligence or wrongdoing on the part of your loved one’s guardian, you should first contact a law enforcement agency, such as the police, and any relevant agency, such as Adult Protective Services.
Although you can pursue the matter on your own without legal counsel, you stand a much better chance of getting the results you want if you have an attorney to assist you.
Let Us Help
At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our lawyers have decades of collective legal experience, and we have obtained recognition for being among the leading attorneys in the state for guardianship litigation, elder abuse, and other areas that affect the most vulnerable in our society.
A lawyer since 1978, attorney Kerry R. Peck has more than 40 years of legal experience. He has served as a leader in many prestigious legal organizations devoted to elder law and other related areas, and he has published several books and many articles on various topics involving elder financial abuse, Alzheimer’s and dementia, estate and probate matters, and more.
Mr. Peck is joined by a team of some of the most knowledgeable and experienced estate and elder law attorneys in the profession. You can count on us to be there for you and your loved ones when you need us the most. All of our attorneys have earned top rankings and honors from members of the legal community, and U.S. News & World Report voted our practice among the Best Law Firms in America for 2022.
We are fully dedicated to you and those you love, and we will do all we can to help you obtain justice for the unfortunate harm an unscrupulous or ineffective guardian has caused your loved one. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our lawyers, you can contact Peck Ritchey, LLC at (855) 328-5787 or through our online contact form.