A Practitioner's Guide To Adult Guardianship In Illinois
I. Statutory Basis
Procedures for petitioning for adult guardianship in Illinois are statutory and set out in Chapter 11a of the Probate Act of 1975, 755 ILCS 5/1-1 et seq., formerly cited as Ill. Rev. Stat., Ch. 1102, par. 11a-1 et. seq. All citations in this guide are to the Probate Act of 1975, unless otherwise noted.
Although the Probate Act establishes a framework for guardianship, many areas of guardianship law in Illinois are unclear. The many Illinois probate courts interpret legal principles or procedures differently, or not at all. Consequently, certain procedures that may be taken for granted in a particular county may be unheard of in another. Accordingly, careful review of local practice rules and familiarity with local customs are vital.
This guide is intended to aid guardianship practitioners statewide, and will discuss things that are generally true everywhere. References to the protocol in Cook County are provided as examples. A private attorney or Office of State Guardian (OSG) attorney should be able to explain local practice considerations in most Illinois probate courts.
In addition, effort has been made to explain procedures pertinent to OSG, or positions adopted by OSG in handling guardianship matters. Some practitioners have requested clarification concerning legal positions adopted by the office, and we hope to clearly express our interpretations of Illinois law and procedures. We recognize that our interpretations are always subject to contrary opinions by the various probate courts.