As elder law attorneys, we advise clients about the eventualities of aging, and incapacity is not uncommon among the elderly.There are other causes of dementia, but Alzheimer’s disease alone is enough to get your attention. Right around 10% of all people that are 65 years of age and older have the disease, and the figure is 40% among people that are at least 85. Individuals that are experiencing dementia will eventually find it impossible to make sound decisions on their own.
In the past, people suffering from incapacity were viewed as incompetent in a sweeping sense, but the new approach compartmentalized the unique needs of each person. They determined that a diagnosis that is indicative of impairment does not necessarily make a guardianship necessary or appropriate. All guardians are not given the same level of empowerment to make decisions on behalf of a ward. The court will deeply delve into each respective case and make a determination with regard to what the incapacitated adults can and cannot do on their own. A limited guardian can be appointed to make certain decisions on behalf of a ward. When the circumstances require a guardian to have sweeping decision-making authority, a plenary guardianship would be granted.There are different types of decisions that must be made on behalf of someone that is incapacitated.
Because of this reality, there are two different types of guardianship: estate guardianship and person guardianship. The court will determine the level of competence as it applies to all of the decisions that can present themselves.A guardianship proceeding can take a good bit of time since the court is so painstaking during the evaluation process. To account for this, the Illinois Probate Act allows for the appointment of a temporary guardian that can be empowered for as long as 60 days while the formal proceeding is being finalized.
Incapacity Planning to Prevent a Guardianship
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If you would like to discuss a guardianship matter or advance incapacity planning with one of our attorneys, our doors are open. Contact us to request a free consultation appointment or give us a
call at (312) 753-6000.