How will Illinois lawmakers change the guardianship law?
A new law designed to protect families facing financial hardships and the elderly in Illinois will be debated and amended at the Illinois House floor Tuesday.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Michael M. Phelan (D-Elgin), would add a new class of “temporary guardians” that would be eligible for up to $500,000 of relief if the state determines that the relative is at “significant risk” of losing their home due to a catastrophic event.
A second class of guardians would be able to file for up $1 million in temporary guardianships if the family is “at substantial risk” for losing their current home due a catastrophic incident.
The law, which takes effect July 1, would also provide for a family to be given more time to prepare to file a petition for guardianship.
Phetjee said the bill has already been passed in the Senate and he expects to move it to the House floor as soon as possible.
The bill would change a state statute that currently allows only two guardianships to be granted per year.
Under the new law, each person’s guardianship would be renewed every year, up to a maximum of three years.
According to Phetseye, Illinois has a relatively high number of older residents, many of whom have dementia or dementia-related illnesses.
“There’s an epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease in our state and the cost of care is staggering, especially when you factor in the costs of nursing home care,” he said.
“There is no shortage of money for care in Illinois.”
Phetseyes bill would allow guardians to be appointed for up the age of 75, as opposed to the current age of 67.
That would allow the state to begin a process of reducing the age at which someone could be appointed as a guardian.
The new law would also expand the number of relatives that a family may be able seek guardianship, to five people.
Pheseye said that, because of the high number and the need for this change, he has not yet met with a representative of the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, who has yet to approve the bill.
Pethry said that they have been in contact with a senior administration official.
“They have assured us that they are looking into it,” Phetrey said.
“We are hopeful that they will approve it and move forward with it, but we haven’t been contacted,” Pheson said.
Pheson and Rep. Steve Lamm (D, Joliet) are also pushing for a new form of “permanent” guardianship to be created.
Phemes bill will add $500 million in new money for the Department of Human Services to invest in programs and services for the elderly and the disabled.