Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Disabled Person
After determining the County the alleged disabled person resides, either visit the probate department of the Circuit Court or the county's website and complete and file a Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Disabled Person. The Petition will require you to state the name, address, birthdate, your relationship,reason for guardianship, value of property, names and address of nearest relatives, and if you are requesting Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate, It will also be necessary to have a copy of the Petition served usually by Sheriff to the alleged disabled person. completed. The nearest relatives must receive a copy of the pending petition.
Although you may believe an individual is disabled. The Court will require a physician's report completed by a physician who has examined the individual no earlier than three months of the filing of the petition. The report will require the physician to describe the nature of the condition, best living arrangement and make a determination if the individual is totally or partially disabled.
Initial Court Appearance
At the initial Court appearance, if not represented by an attorney, make sure you have the original physician report, a copy of the petition, and proof of service of the alleged disabled person. A Guardian Ad Litem, which investigates the petition for guardianship may be appointed to ensure the alleged disabled person is aware of their legal rights. Additionally, if you have requested to be Guardian of the Estate it may be necessary to obtain a surety bond to protect the ward's assets.
Although you are guardian, the disabled person becomes a Ward of the Court. You will be required to file annual reports regarding the disabled persons health and if applicable finances. You must notify the Court of any major changes impacting the disabled person, for example, death of the disabled person or request for change of residence.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
The Guardianship proceeding is a legal proceeding. You should consider hiring an attorney who has experience in the guardianship area. If resources are unavailable, you can consult with local legal services organization to see if you qualify for free or low cost legal assistance. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.