Guardianship of the Person in Illinois

In Illinois, there are two main kinds of guardianships:  a guardianship of the person and a guardianship of the estate.  A guardianship of the person involves the ongoing personal, health care, and day-to-day decisions for a disabled individual. A guardianship of the estate involves the care and management of a disabled person's property.  Since a guardianship of the person has several unique aspects, let's take a closer look at this particular legal process.


Guardianship of the Disabled Adult Person


The first step in determining whether an adult needs a guardianship is a report by the person’s attending physician.  If the medical doctor who consistently attends the alleged adult disabled person determines that a guardianship is necessary to protect the person’s interests, then an interested party to the alleged disabled person can seek a guardianship for that person.  Then, if a guardianship judge (upon hearing the evidence presented regarding the mental incompetency) determines that a guardianship is in fact needed, the court will, at minimum, name a Guardian of the Person to protect the personal interests of the disabled adult individual.  A Guardian of the Person for an adult disabled individual is charged with the duty to make ongoing personal decisions for the disabled person, such as health care decisions and living arrangements.


What are the specific areas that a Guardian of the Person provides assistance to the disabled person?


Under 755 ILCS 5/11a-17, the Guardian of the Person is charged with providing the “support, care, comfort, health, education and maintenance, and professional services as are appropriate” for the disabled person.  Thus, the Guardian of the Person must ensure that the disabled person is well fed, is comfortable in his/her living arrangements, is receiving proper medical care, is receiving suitable educational opportunities, and is receiving appropriate social interactions with other people as is needed for the disabled person.  If a Guardian of the Person for a disabled adult fails to provide or otherwise oversee the provision of these items to the disabled person, he/she could be removed as the Guardian.


What is an Annual Report on Ward?


In most guardianships for adult disabled persons, an Annual Report on the Ward is required to be filed each year with the court.  Under the same section of the Illinois Probate Act mentioned in the previous section above, the Annual Report must state:


  • the current mental, physical, and social condition of the ward and the ward's minor and adult dependent children;
  • their present living arrangement, and a description and the address of every residence where they lived during the reporting period and the length of stay at each place;
  • a summary of the medical, educational, vocational, and other professional services given to them;
  • a resume of the guardian's visits with and activities on behalf of the ward and the ward's minor and adult dependent children;
  • a recommendation as to the need for continued guardianship;
  • any other information requested by the court or useful in the opinion of the guardian.


To learn more information about this topic, visit our page on how to complete an Annual Report in Illinois.


When is a Guardianship of the Person needed in Illinois?


A Guardianship of the Person is needed in Illinois when a disabled adult individual lacks the mental capacity to make personal decisions on his/her behalf.  This can happen most commonly when a person becomes mentally incompetent from a mental illness (such as dementia), from an accident, or from birth defects (such as being born with autism).  If the disabled adult person failed to name an Agent under a Power of Attorney for Health Care (or, due to birth defects, never had the mental capacity to name an Agent) prior to becoming mentally incompetent, then a Guardianship of the Person is necessary in Illinois to protect the disabled person.


What powers does a Guardian of the Person have in Illinois?


Once a person has been appointed as the Guardian of the Person, he/she has the following powers:


  • The power to make medical decisions for the disabled person, including end-of-life decisions
  • The power to restrict visitation from certain family members or friends who might have a detrimental impact on the disabled person
  • The power to place the disabled person (with court approval) in a nursing home or other care facility to provide the ongoing medical and day-to-day care that the disabled person needs
  • The power to obtain information from, and to speak to, medical professionals, school teachers/administration, nursing home facility staff/administration, etc., on the disabled person’s behalf as needed
  • The power to seek a court order to direct the Guardian of the Estate to disburse funds for the proper ongoing care of the disabled person as deemed appropriate by the Guardian of the Person

If you would like to learn more about guardianship in Illinois, visit our Frequently Asked Questions pages.  If you would like to speak with an experienced Chicagoland area guardianship attorney regarding your guardianship matter, give us a call at (630) 898-4789 to set up a free initial consultation.  You can also email us at if you just have a few basic questions for the attorney.  We currently help families with guardianship matters in Kane, DuPage, Kendall, Will, and Cook County.  We will consider guardianship cases in other Chicago area counties as well.


The Law Office of Kevin Williams, 2295 Bannister Lane, Aurora, IL 60504, (630) 898-4789

Law Office of


Serving DuPage, Cook, Kane, Kendall, & Will Counties


Phone: 630.898.4789

Fax: 630.658.0557




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