What Are the Different Types of Powers of Attorney in Illinois?

IL estate planning lawyers, IL probate attorney, In the instance that you become unable to handle your own affairs, either financially or medically, it is important that you have a power of attorney (POA) set in place. This allows you to designate who will be in charge of your affairs if you are unable to do so on your own. The person designated to handle the affairs is known as the “agent” and the person who the POA concerns is known as the “principal.” If you are intending on getting your affairs in order, it is important to work with a reputable estate planning attorney to ensure that the POA is valid and the proper terms are included.

General POA Requirements

There are a number of requirements that must be met when creating a POA in the state of Illinois. In order for the legal document to be valid, the agent must be designated by name and their powers must be outlined. POAs are unique to your circumstances so you should include, in detail, what your agent is legally responsible for. This person must be at least 18 years of age. The POA must be signed by the principal and at least one witness must be present. The principal must also acknowledge their signature, and thus their consent to the POA, in front of a notary public, or attorney.

Types of POAs

Illinois recognizes two types of POAs — healthcare power of attorney and a property powers of attorney. The healthcare POA outlines how you would like your medical affairs handled. This can be difficult to work through since you are determining how long you would like to be kept alive if you cannot do so on your own. The agent will be named as the party who can make this decision for you if the time comes. It is critical that you select a trustworthy individual as your agent since they will be deciding your life or death. Married couples will typically select their spouse as their POA agent, but in some cases, they may select another person. It can be difficult for a spouse to decide against keeping their spouse on life support, even if this is what he or she asked their agent to choose if the situation arises.

Property POAs focus on the details of your finances. If you are incapable of handling your own financial affairs, an agent can be named to manage your affairs during that time. Some may decide to sign a durable power of attorney, which becomes effective immediately and is not dependent upon your incapacity. Most will sign a springing POA which only comes into effect upon your incapacity which is determined and diagnosed by medical professionals to avoid any questions on the matter.

Call a DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer

Placing someone else in charge of your medical or financial decisions can be a difficult pill to swallow. Unfortunately, it is often inevitable as we age or can be completely unexpected as a result of a serious accident or diagnosis at a young age. There is no way to predict your future, but you are able to prepare for the unexpected. At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, our compassionate legal team works with clients of all ages to help them get their affairs in order. Whether you have recently received a grim diagnosis, are noticing your old age, or simply want the unexpected to be planned, contact our Wheaton powers of attorney lawyers at 630-665-2500 for help.

 

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2113&ChapterID=60

Should I Use a Revocable Living Trust or an Irrevocable Living Trust?

IL estate planning lawyer, Illinois trust attorneyAlthough many people assume that a last will and testament is the only estate planning tool that they need, a will is not always the best way to accomplish all of your estate planning goals. Other estate tools such as living trusts are often overlooked due to confusion or misunderstandings about the purpose of these tools. A trust is a legally binding agreement involving an individual or entity called a trustee who holds property for the benefit of a beneficiary. A living trust is an advantageous tool for managing your assets during your lifetime and then passing those assets to beneficiaries upon your death. If you are interested in using a living trust to manage your assets, you may question whether you should use a revocable living trust or an irrevocable living trust.

Revocable Trusts

As the name implies, a revocable trust is one that is able to be revoked or canceled. If you place assets in a revocable trust, you remain in control of those assets. You are also considered to be the owner of those assets in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service and other governmental agencies. Because the property is yours, you can choose to remove the property from the trust and use it for other purposes at any time. A revocable living trust covers you while you are alive, in the event that you are incapacitated by illness or injury, and after you pass away. One of the greatest benefits of a revocable living trust is that it avoids probate– the public legal process during which a will is validated in court. Because you remain the owner of the property placed in a revocable trust, transferring property to a revocable trust does not affect your federal income taxes or estate income.

Irrevocable Trusts

An irrevocable trust is not able to be withdrawn. When you transfer assets to an irrevocable trust, you no longer own the assets or have control over them. The trust itself becomes the owner of the property. This means that you cannot take the assets out of the trust. Because you are not the owner of the assets in an irrevocable trust, you cannot be taxed on them. However, you can continue to gain revenue on investments from the trust. Depending on your net worth and overall estate planning goals, there may be enormous tax benefits to placing assets in an irrevocable trust. Using an irrevocable trust may also help shield your assets from any future creditors.

Contact a Wheaton Trust Lawyer

Assets placed within a revocable trust may be withdrawn at any time while assets in an irrevocable trust are no longer considered your property. There are advantages and disadvantages to both irrevocable and revocable trusts. If you want to learn more about which type of trust will best suit your unique needs, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call our office today at 630-665-2500 and schedule a personalized consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County estate planning attorney.

Sources:

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Estate%20Planning.pdf
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/17/purposes-revocable-vs-irrevocable-trusts/
https://www.thebalance.com/living-vs-revocable-trust-3505393

 

What Is the Purpose of a Living Will?

living will, Wheaton estate planning lawyerYou may have already considered how you want your assets distributed to heirs after you pass away, but this is not the only issue that estate plans can address. Have you ever wondered what types of medical treatment you would want if you became incapacitated through a serious illness or injury? For example, if you were involved in a car accident and left comatose, would you want doctors to do everything possible to extend your life? Would you want a feeding tube, mechanical ventilation, or other death-delaying procedures? Would you want to let nature take its course?

Through a living will, you can make these types of decisions in advance. This saves your loved ones from being forced to make these decisions for you and also gives you the peace of mind knowing that your medical wishes will be followed.

The Terri Schiavo Case Emphasized the Need for a Living Will

Although it was over 20 years ago, many people still remember the media frenzy surrounding Terri Schiavo. The young woman fell into an irreversible persistent vegetative state after suffering a cardiac arrest at age 26. Her husband believed that Terri would not want to be kept alive via long-term life support and elected to have her feeding tube removed. The woman’s parents strongly disagreed and wanted their daughter to continue receiving artificial hydration and nutrition. The case resulted in a seven-year legal battle.

Even if you do not have strong feelings about the types of death-delaying procedures you do and do not want to undergo if you become incapacitated, making a decision now saves your family from the possible burden of making these decisions on your behalf. You can do so by preparing a living will.

What Types of Procedures Can Be Addressed in a Living Will?

Everyone has their own beliefs about life and death. Some people want every procedure possible used to keep them alive for as long as possible. Others do not want to be kept alive artificially if they have no awareness or quality of life. Through a living will, you can choose the specific medical procedures you do and do not want used in certain circumstances. You can make decisions about procedures including but not limited to:

  • Organ donations
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Tube feeding
  • Antibiotics or antiviral medications
  • Dialysis
  • Palliative care

A living will puts you in control of your future medical care. It may also save your family members from the burdensome task of guessing what types of end-of-life care you would want. To learn more about creating a living will, speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer.

Contact a DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer

To get started on your living will or for other estate planning needs, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call our office at 630-665-2500 and schedule a confidential consultation with a skilled Wheaton estate planning attorney. We can help find the tools that best fit your unique circumstances.

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/bioethicist-tk-n333536

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/living-wills/art-20046303