Vol. 1 No. 2, Spring 2010; Illinois Does Not Care About Caregivers as Evidenced by the Ineffective and Exclusionary Custodial Claims Statute of the Probate Act
Qualman, Mariam L. Hafezi
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Family members taking on the responsibility of caring for sick or disabled relatives is on the rise, and it is only trending upward in the future due to a multitude of factors. Illinois appeared to be on the edge of this trend by enacting the Statutory Custodial Claims statute for the Illinois Probate Act, which allows compensation for caregiving spouses, parents, siblings, and children; however, the language of this statute is ineffective in solving the problem it purports to set out to fix by creating very cumbersome, and rather unfounded, dedication and live-in requirements that are rarely met by the caregivers. The legislators also unfairly limited the class of caregivers that can assert the claim—completely discounting the various ethnic groups and cultures in Illinois that commonly fall out of the statute’s class. The language of the statute and the strict construction of it by the courts have rendered the statute practically useless. This Comment presents some ideas for modifying the statute to perhaps curtail some of its current problems.