Guardianships of minors and disabled adults

Guardianships of minors and disabled adults is one of the services offered by Christine C. Karr, a Chicago Probate attorney.

Guardianship estates are required for minors who receive funds from the settlement of, or verdict in, a personal injury case, or receives funds from any source – including funds from a deceased parent or life insurance proceeds.   A financial institution with a trust department may act as guardian of the minor’s estate if the assets are of sufficient value.  Alternatively, the funds may be deposited in an bank account for the benefit of the minor, with all withdrawals to be subject to court order, and the funds only to be released upon the minor reaching the age of 18.

Guardianships for disabled adults are required in instances in which an adult lacks the ability to competently make personal and financial decisions due to a disability or illness, and that adult has not executed a Power of Attorney for Property and for Health Care.   An adjudication of disability is required, often resulting in a hearing before a probate court, and a finding that the individual is lacking capacity to make personal and financial decisions.

An alleged disabled person is involved with the adjudication process, and is personally served with the Petition for Appointment of Guardian, and given written information concerning his or her rights during the process.  If requested, the alleged disabled person (or respondent) is assigned a court-appointed attorney to assist during the process.  Additionally, the court may appoint an attorney to act as an guardian ad litem (eyes and ears of the court) who will interview the respondent and report his or her findings back to the court.

An important part of the adjudication process is a report from an examining physician, detailing the disability, providing an opinion regarding the care and placement of the respondent, and the ability of the respondent to make competent personal and financial decisions.

Important and very basic estate planning tools which allow older individuals to avoid guardianship proceedings:   Power of Attorney for Property, Power of Attorney for Health Care, and a Living Will.

For more information of guardianships for minors and disabled adults

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