If you have an elderly loved one who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or whom you believe is unable to safely care for himself/herself without some type of supervision, guardianship may be the best solution. If you have never been through the legal process required when petitioning to become a guardian you likely have a number of questions about the process. At the top of the list of questions may be “ How much does guardianship cost in Illinois? ” Because each guardianship petition is unique there is no way to provide a universal answer to the question of cost; however, it may help to have a better idea of what steps are involved in becoming a guardian and what those steps typically cost.
To become your loved ones guardian in the State of Illinois you will need to petition the appropriate court first. The petition will set forth the reasons why you believe the proposed ward (your loved one) is in need of a guardian as well as explain to the court why you should be the guardian. To prepare the petition it is always best to work with an experienced Illinois elder law/estate planning attorney to ensure that the documents are properly drafted and that all procedures are followed correctly. The fees charged by your attorney will vary depending on several factors. One factor that will directly impact both the fees charged by your attorney and the overall ease with which your guardianship petition will be granted is whether or not the petition is challenged, or contested, by anyone.
After you file the petition you are required to notify both the proposed ward and close family members. Any of the people required to receive notification may challenge the appointment of a guardian and/or your appointment as the guardian. Your loved one may oppose the appointment as well. The proposed ward is also entitled to legal representation. If the proposed ward and/or anyone else entitled to notification does file an official objection to the guardianship it will take much longer for the guardianship to be approved and the legal fees will increase.
If, on the other hand, no one objects to the appointment of a guardian the court may still order an independent investigation to determine if a guardian is needed. The court may also order a hearing on the matter. At the hearing the court will hear evidence relating to the need for a guardian. The court will also want to hear evidence indicating that you are a proper choice for guardian. Ultimately, the court will either approve or deny the petition. If approved, the terms of the guardianship, including any limits on your authority as guardian, will be decided by the judge and reduced to writing in the form of a court order appointing you guardian.
As you can see, the overall cost of petition to become a guardian will depend on various factors. The best way to get a general idea of what it will cost in your situation is to contact the experienced Illinois estate planning and elder law attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.
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