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Our goal is to provide you with the best tools and resources for everything related to Guardianship.

If you cannot find the information you need on this website, please Contact Us and we can help!


This is a user-friendly manual that will provide guidance for understanding the important role of a guardian. There are sample forms to use for determining informed medical decisions and a contact form to record visits and document the condition of the person. Other forms can be downloaded and used as needed for annual court reports and record keeping. To access the attached documents, simply click on the highlighted text below.


Guardianship Manual


Legal Aspects of Guardianship:
Section 1. Concept of Substitute Decision Making
Section 2. Procedural Aspects of Guardianship
Section 3. Guardian Exercises Authority

Being a Guardian: Sections

Comprehensive Assessment Forms Pages


Training Committee – Community Education and Outreach

The Illinois Guardianship Association (IGA) offers free guardianship training to human services provider agencies and other groups throughout the state. Nationally certified Registered Guardians and attorneys conduct the training sessions. The training can cover all or some of the following areas:

Basics of Adult Guardianship

Types and Scope of Guardianship

Medical Consents, Mental Health treatment issues

Estate Management

Ethical considerations for guardians

Powers of Attorney and other alternatives to guardianship

Record Keeping and reports to the court

Effective advocacy by guardians

Question-and-answer sessions

Please contact us at if you would like to host a training event, serve on the committee, or submit questions and suggestions for community education on guardianship issues.


What is guardianship?

Guardianship is the appointment by the court for a surrogate/substitute decision-maker for a person who is over the age of 18 and is unable to make decisions due to some level of incapacity. When a person reaches the age of 18 they receive all of the adult legal rights. If they are unable to understand these rights and exercise them due to a lack of decisional capacity, a judge can appoint a guardian to protect that individual and make legal decisions for them.

How long does the guardianship process take?

The process can take up to 2-3 months depending on the court calendar.

When should I start the process of seeking guardianship?

We recommend that you start the process 2-3 months before you need guardianship. For special needs children turning 18, you would start the process 2-3 months prior to their 18th birthday. Seeking an attorney is essential. As you seek guardianship for a person, there are two major types of guardianship to consider. The Petitioner(s) is required to seek the least restrictive type of guardianship based on the needs of the protected person.

Plenary (Full) Guardianship: This is the most restrictive form of guardianship. All adult rights are removed from the protected person and transferred to the guardian to exercise.

Limited Guardianship: This is the less restrictive form of guardianship. With this type of guardianship, the guardian is only able to exercise rights for the protected person in the areas specified by the court.

There are five (5) major types of limited guardianship. They include medical, financial, education, residential, and habilitation including daily support services. There are a number of other guardianship types including temporary but one would want to secure an attorney for deciding which one is most appropriate.

Can guardianship be terminated?

Yes, guardianship can be terminated when the protected person regains decisional capacity and competency. Of course, the court would be involved and a hearing would be held to review the case.

Can the guardianship be amended to change a guardian or the type of guardianship?

Yes, guardianship can be amended as needed depending on the needs of the protected person. The court would need to be petitioned to change the scope of guardianship required.

What kind of ongoing records do I need to provide to the court?

Guardians are required to file an Annual Report on the Ward. Estate guardians must file an inventory within 60 days of being appointed and then an Annual Accounting. All estate guardians shall file an annual accounting. See Guardian Manual for more information.

How many guardians can a person have?

In Illinois, one guardian is typical. There are circumstances where co-guardians can be named depending on the needs of the protected person.

Is there any financial assistance or government agency that can help me with getting guardianship?

Generally, there is very little assistance. One can call the local Land of Lincoln and/or Area Agency on Aging for possible referrals. The Illinois Office of State Guardian cannot petition for guardianship but can be named pursuant to Illinois law. There are Public Guardians appointed by the governor in most counties but the Public Guardian (PG) cannot petition. The PG can be named guardian by the court pursuant to Illinois law for estate cases that have over $25,000 in assets.

I have a daughter with special needs who is 16 years old and is having difficulty getting help with her classes. Her IEP states she needs help with mathematics and English but nothing seems to be happening. I am not her legal guardian. What should I do?

If you are able to go online and want to review what the Guardian Manual has regarding special education, please go to and click on Guardian Manual. Pages 27-31 provide a general overview of the education plan (IEP) and what options you may have. Also, visit the Illinois Department of Education website at Special Education ( This site contains a very thorough review of an IEP and should be very helpful.

If you are in need of an advocate or have further questions about the Individualized Education Process the IGAC Special Education Division is a collaboration of the Human Rights Authority and Legal Advocacy Services Division created to help families navigate special education through training, advocacy, and legal support. For more information, please check out our website at

Is there a requirement for guardianship training for newly appointed guardians in Illinois?

Yes, HB2665 State Guardian Training Program, Public Act 100-0483, took effect as law on September 8, 2018. The State Guardian had a year to implement the law which calls for guardian training except for those who are employees of the Office of State Guardian, public guardians, attorneys currently authorized to practice law, corporate fiduciaries, and persons certified by the Center for Guardianship Certification (CGC). The guardianship training for which a person will receive a certificate to file with the court can be found by CLICKING HERE



Illinois Guardianship & Advocacy Commission

Center for Guardian Certification

National Guardianship Association

Training Requirement for Guardian of Person effective September 2018 – guardianship training for newly appointed guardians



Illinois Probate Act / Guardians for Adults with Disabilities

Illinois Probate Act / Guardians for Minors

Agency Resources

Equip for Equality (Disability rights, Guardianship reform, and resources.)

ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens covers programs and issues for persons with disabilities)

Department on Aging (Includes statewide programs for the aging and legislative action)

Department of Education – Illinois State Board of Education. This website is useful when involved with Individual Education Plans.

Illinois Department of Public Health – This is the site for the Illinois Department of Public Health which has information on advanced directives.

Reporting of Abuse/Neglect of People with Disabilities in Long Term Care Facility: And/or The Central Complaint Registry (Nursing Home Hotline): 1-800-252-4343, 1-800-547-0466 (TTY)

Or electronically: File a Health Care Complaint (

County Public Guardian and Administrators

Cook County Public Guardian

Apply to become a Public Guardian and List of Current Public Guardian Appointments

Other important links

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Top 5 things to consider when designing an accessible bathroom for wheelchair users.

Handicap Accessible Modifications That Won’t Turn Off Future Homebuyers

Wheelchair Gardening Tips

Home Modifications for the Elderly

The Consumer’s Guide to Stair Lifts for the Elderly and Disabled

Home Modification for Aging in Place: Safe Bathroom Remodeling Options for Seniors

Important Garage Modifications to Help Seniors Who Want to Age-in-Place

Healthy Aging in Place: 3 Ideas for Seniors Who Want to Eat Nutritiously at Home

Elder-Proofing Your Yard


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