When a guardian has been appointed for a person with a disability (the “ward”) there are sometimes disagreements as to that person’s care. These disagreements are usually between the guardian and the other relatives of the ward. Sometimes a guardian may attempt to push the limits of their power by blocking visitation by the ward’s adult children. In this circumstance, the adult children may feel like they have no options but to obey the commands of the guardian. However, under Illinois law there is a remedy available for those children.
The Illinois Probate Act provides that an adult child of a ward may petition the court if it is believed that the guardian is unreasonably preventing visitation. 755 ILCS 5/11a-17(g)(2). If the court finds visitation to be in the best interests of the ward, the court may order the guardian to allow visitation. When determining whether visitation is in the ward’s best interests, the primary question the court will ask is whether the ward, if competent, would have wanted to engage in visitation with the adult child.
If the wishes of the ward cannot be determined, the court will then review the following factors to determine his/her best interests: