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Emergency Guardianship of an Adult

 Posted on October 30, 2023 in Guardianship

DuPage County family lawyerAdult guardianship is a legal arrangement where a court appoints one person to make important decisions on either the health and well-being of an individual, their finances, or their estate. This individual will have to be 18 years of age or older and incapable of managing their own life and assets effectively.

As the process for guardianship can take many months, it is not uncommon for a court to grant temporary emergency guardianship to an individual while waiting for an official guardian to be appointed. This provides that individual with immediate protection in the case of threats or other emergencies. An attorney well-versed in Illinois guardian law can better help you navigate the entire process while answering any legal questions you may have.

Why File for an Emergency Guardianship?

Persons with disabilities or impairments who may be incapable of protecting themselves from harm or threats may require guardianship. Emergency guardianship is for those individuals who have a reasonable expectation that while waiting for a full-time appointed guardian, harm could come to them or their estate. So, to safeguard these adults from that harm, an emergency guardianship may be required.

Reasons for appointing guardianship may include:

  • Mental illness
  • Mental decline due to age or other factors
  • Early developmental disability
  • Behavior instability that puts them or their property at risk
  • Physical impairments

The adult individual must be at risk of harm, be incapacitated, and not have any alternatives for protection for an emergency guardianship to be granted. The court will act on what it considers to be in the best interests of the individual, primarily focusing on their well-being and safety.

How is an Emergency Guardian Appointed?

Unless specified in a power of attorney, a court will appoint an emergency guardian in the need for immediate intervention. This temporary guardian can then act on the incapacitated individual’s behalf concerning their health and well-being, property, or both.

The rules a judge must follow when appointing an emergency guardian vary from county to county. However, a judge will usually meet with the petitioner and request a doctor’s report concerning the incapacitated person’s current state. The incapacitated individual must demonstrate that they are incapable of protecting themselves from perceived harm for an emergency guardian to be appointed.

Once a guardian is appointed, they can immediately act on behalf of the incapacitated individual but must do so in a way that is in their best interest. The guardian can enact protective measures to safeguard the incapacitated person’s finances, health, and estate from potential threats. The temporary guardian retains the right to take action for the incapacitated individual until the guardianship expires or another guardian is appointed.

To be a guardian, the person must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age or older
  • Be a US resident
  • Be of sound mind
  • Not be disabled themselves
  • Not have been convicted of a felony that involved harm to a child, the elderly, or someone with a disability (The court considers other reasons for a felony conviction on a case-by-case basis)

Contact a DuPage County, IL Family Lawyer

Family and loved ones suffering from disabilities or other debilitating issues require protection from others who would do them harm and sometimes from themselves. A skilled Naperville, IL guardianship attorney can help you petition for emergency guardianship if necessary. Calabrese Associates, P.C. understands the need to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Give us a call at 630-393-3111 to set up an appointment for a discussion on how we can help.

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