Chicago Temporary Guardianship Attorneys
When a minor child or disabled adult is unable to make or communicate responsible decisions for their own personal or financial affairs, a guardian can be appointed to make those decisions on their behalf. Guardians are appointed by the courts to protect children or disabled adults, known as “wards,” and to look out for their best interests.
In emergency situations, the courts may grant temporary guardianships, which cannot last any longer than 60 days in Illinois. Temporary guardianships are intended to ensure wards get the protection and care they need immediately, before a more permanent solution is in place.
When you believe you need to put a temporary guardian in place, call the Chicago guardianship administration lawyers of Peck Ritchey, LLC at (855) 328-5787 for a consultation about the particulars of your case. We can discuss your situation and help you determine what to do next.
When Is Temporary Guardianship Necessary?
Temporary guardianship is typically granted as an interim measure, such as while the court makes a decision regarding a long-term or permanent guardianship petition after a parent or guardian’s unexpected death or incapacitation. However, temporary guardianship may also be appropriate for non-emergencies, such as when parents or guardians have long-term travel plans or military obligations.
When the courts decide temporary guardianship is necessary, it’s usually because they determine that the prospective ward would be at risk of significant harm without the assistance of a guardian. This could be the case if the court sees that no one else is available or able to make emergency decisions on behalf of a minor or incapacitated person.
How to Select a Temporary Guardian
If you are thinking about designating a temporary guardian for your child or an incapacitated loved one, you’ll need to consider whom you can trust to care for and make good decisions on their behalf. Ideally, you want someone who knows your loved one, understands their situation, and has experience making important decisions.
In Illinois, a legal guardian must:
- Be at least 18 years old or older
- Be a legal resident of the United States
- Be of sound mind
- Not be legally disabled (note: blindness does not preclude a person from being a legal guardian)
- Not have been convicted of any felony crimes involving threats or harm to a child
Rights and Responsibilities of Temporary Guardians
Generally speaking, a temporary guardian will have all of the rights and responsibilities of a full personal guardian or the guardian of an estate, just for a limited amount of time. The limits of their rights and responsibilities are typically specified in the court order appointing the temporary guardian.
A personal guardian is someone responsible for the support, care, health, and education of a ward. This type of guardian makes decisions regarding their ward’s living arrangements and any medical, educational, or vocational services they receive.
The guardian of an estate, on the other hand, is someone responsible for managing their ward’s estate. This includes the management of any income, principal, assets, or funds of the estate.
How Do I Establish a Temporary Guardianship?
Before you can petition the court for temporary guardianship, you must obtain a report establishing that the person is a minor child or disabled adult in need of a guardian. You may be able to get a premade form that simply needs to be filled in from the local court where you will file your petition. This report should be prepared and signed by a doctor and any other medical professionals who know the prospective ward.
Once you have the completed and signed report, you’ll also need to prepare:
- A petition – Your official request to have the court appoint a temporary guardian.
- A rights notice – A summary of the prospective ward’s rights in plain language.
- A summons – An official notice given to the prospective ward to let them know of the guardianship proceedings and to grant the court jurisdiction in the matter.
- A notice to interested parties – An announcement given to close relatives, the prospective guardian, and any persons living with the prospective ward to notify them of the date, time, and place of the guardianship proceedings.
- A proposed guardianship order – A pre-made order the court may sign if it determines the proposed temporary guardianship is in order.
- An oath of office – An official agreement for the prospective guardian to sign once they are formally appointed by the court.
- A bond – A formal promise saying that the temporary guardian of an estate will be responsible for financial losses of the estate up to a predetermined limit.
- A statement – A statement of Right to Discharge Guardian or Right to Modify Guardianship Order, which is required in Cook County but may not be required in other counties. This document outlines the rights of the ward.
- A proposed guardian ad litem order – A premade order the court may sign if it determines the prospective ward requires a guardian ad litem (GAL), who is appointed to protect their interests during the guardianship proceedings.
Once you submit all paperwork and pay any necessary fees, a court clerk or judge should set the date for a hearing within 30 days. During the guardianship hearing, the court may call one or more witnesses, so it’s best to come prepared with a witness who can testify regarding the need for a temporary guardian.
In emergency situations, a temporary guardian may be appointed the same day the paperwork is filed. In other cases, it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months for the court to reach a decision.
Contact a Temporary Guardianship Administration Lawyer Today
Although it’s possible to seek temporary guardianship on your own, the process can be difficult without the help of an attorney. An experienced guardianship administration lawyer can be especially helpful if anyone objects to the guardianship or if any other financial or personal complications arise.
If you have questions about temporary guardianship administration in Illinois, you can discuss the details of your situation with Peck Ritchey, LLC by calling (855) 328-5787 or filling out our online contact form for a free consultation. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you prepare error-free paperwork, work with expert witnesses, and put your best foot forward in court.