While most people may assume that family law revolves around divorce and child custody issues, the lawyers at Johnson & Johnson, attorneys at law, are also experienced at handling a number of other issues, such as legal guardianship and conservatorship. If you are considering establishing guardianship for a loved one, or are interested in addressing concerns over current conservatorship arrangements, it is helpful to be aware of how each role is regarded under the law.
In the state of Illinois, guardianship and conservatorship account for the care and financial needs of vulnerable children and adults. Minors, as well as adults who are elderly, disabled and/or incapacitated, can benefit from the physical care and/or guidance of a responsible person. As a result, you may consider becoming or assigning someone to serve as the conservator or guardian of a loved one if he or she is unable to responsibly conduct his or her own affairs.
Unlike a legal guardian, a conservator is appointed by the family law court to only handle a person’s financial affairs. Consequently, it is not your duty, as the conservator, to provide for your ward’s physical care needs. If you are legally recognized as a guardian, however, you may have a number of other important responsibilities. Guardian duties often include but are not limited to:
- Establishing arrangements for the ward’s education, physical care and medical coverage
- Monitoring the ward’s investments and personal property
- Accounting for the ward’s financial obligations, such as bills and taxes
If someone has already been recognized as a legal conservator or guardian for a loved one in your family, you may be compelled to contest the arrangement if you suspect that duties are being neglected or otherwise mishandled. Visit our family law web page today if you are interested in learning more about the establishment of legal guardianship or other related topics.