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Judge and Gavel

Guardianship of Disabled Person

It can be frightening to think about what happens to your child with special needs once they turn 18 year old as a parent's responsibility for this child is often a lifelong commitment. In Illinois, guardianship is a legal process that grants an individual or entity the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of a disabled person, known as the ward, who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves. Guardianship is often sought when the disabled person cannot manage their personal, medical, financial, or legal affairs independently.


If you are a parent to a child with special needs such as a cognitive disability, a behavioral disability, a learning disability, a emotional disability, or a physical disability, you should think of how to protect your right to make medical, financial, and educational decisions on your child's behalf. 

In order to reserve your right to make these decisions, you will need to consider acquiring legal guardianship of your child once he/she turns 18 years old. Although special education students are allowed services through the school district until they turn 22 years old, a parent must have guardianship after they turn 18 years old to continue making educational decisions for their child. 

The process typically involves filing a petition with the appropriate court, providing evidence of the disabled person's incapacity, and demonstrating the guardianship is necessary to protect their well-being and interests. The court will consider the disabled person's preferences and best interests while determining the scope of the guardianship. Further, there are different types of guardianship in Illinois, including plenary (full) guardianship, limited guardianship, and standby guardianship. Plenary guardianship grants the guardian broad decision-making authority, while limited guardianship restricts the guardian's power to specific areas where the disabled person needs assistance. Standby guardianship allows for a guardian to be designated in advance for situations where the current guardian becomes unable to fulfill their role.

Ms. Diambri can assist parents with obtaining legal guardianship of their disabled adult child. She can also assist parents with filing the appropriate court documents each year when guardianship is obtaining. 

Law Offices of

Marina Diambri

530 N. Milwaukee Avenue

Suite A

Libertyville, IL 60048



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530 North Milwaukee Avenue

Suite A

Libertyville, IL 60048


Tel: (847) 604-0551

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