The fact that a person has a mental disability does not automatically dictate a need for guardianship. The test for determining the need for guardianship focuses on the ability of the person to make decisions and to properly communicate decisions once made. Making incorrect or ill-advised decisions on a periodic basis is not the test. Rather, it is an inability to engage in the decision making in the first place which is important. A practical set of questions that may be addressed are as follows:
- Does the person understand that a particular decision needs to be made?
- Does the person understand the options available in any decision?
- Does the person understand the consequences of each option?
- Is the person able to properly inform appropriate parties once the decision has been made?
The inability to make sound decisions about where to live, where to work, how and when to seek medical care or other professional services, how to properly care for dependents, and how to purchase items like food and clothing is indication that a person may be in need of some guardianship services.
Janna Dutton, Attorney at Law
Dutton & Casey, P.C.
Chicago, Illinois 60603