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

Who Should I Choose to Be My Power of Attorney?

power of attorney, Wheaton estate planning lawyerHave you ever thought about who should handle your affairs if you became physically or mentally capacitated? Sadly, unexpected accidents and illnesses can affect even individuals who are otherwise young and healthy. A power of attorney is a type of advance directive that allows a person to designate a representative or “agent” to speak on his or her behalf in the event of a catastrophic illness or injury. The term “power of attorney” is used to refer to the estate planning tool as well as the individual who is chosen to act as the agent. This is a heavy responsibility, so it is important to choose someone who is capable of handling the role.

Financial Power of Attorney and Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A power of attorney for healthcare, also called a medical power of attorney, allows you to choose a representative to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become unable to express your own medical wishes. For example, if complications arise during surgery and you are under anesthesia, your power of attorney for healthcare may need to make decisions on your behalf about how to proceed.

A financial power of attorney allows you to choose a representative to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. Your agent will be responsible for paying your bills and handling other monetary or real estate matters.  Some individuals choose to assign both medical and financial responsibilities to the same person, while others choose to assign these roles to two different people.

Considerations When Assigning Powers of Attorney

Choosing the person who will take on the huge responsibility of being your agent is often a difficult task. You may be conflicted about who you should assign as your financial or medical power or attorney. When choosing an agent, it is essential to choose someone who you can trust. You must also ask yourself whether or not this person can handle the duties for which he or she will be responsible.

For example, you may be extremely close with your adult son, but he might struggle to pay his bills or file his taxes on time. Although you may love him dearly, he may not be the best choice for managing your financial affairs. You should also consider how a potential agent would handle a decision that other family members or friends may disagree with. For example, perhaps you explain in advance to your medical power of attorney that you do not want to be kept alive via artificial ventilation if you are close to death. If you later become fatally sick or injured and the question of artificial ventilation arises, will he or she be strong enough to follow your wishes even if other loved ones disagree?

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Estate Planning Lawyer

For estate planning guidance from a seasoned DuPage County estate planning attorney, contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC. Call our office today at 630-665-2500 and schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your needs.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/managing-wealth/042216/medical-vs-financial-power-attorney-reasons-separate-them.asp

https://www.verywellhealth.com/characteristics-for-choosing-power-of-attorney-4134991

Assigning a Power of Attorney – Reasons, Considerations, and the Steps to Take

Illinois wills and trusts lawyersWhen drafting an estate plan, guarantors are often asked whether they have selected a power of attorney to represent them during a period of incapacitation. Do you really need such a person and how do you decide which person to name in your will or trust? More importantly, how can you ensure that the person you select is able to effectively represent your interests? Learn the answers to these questions in the following sections, and to discover how the assistance of a seasoned wills and trusts lawyer can protect the best interests of you, your heirs, and your estate. 

Why Assign a Power of Attorney? 

Although it can be unnerving to legally name and assign someone to handle your financial and healthcare decisions during a period of incapacitation, doing so can benefit you, your family, and your estate. First, it can ensure that you are not given medical treatments that you do not wish to receive. You are also less likely to experience the financial consequences that tend to occur when one’s finances go unmanaged (i.e. late fees, extreme loss in the stock market, unpaid bills, etc.), which can ensure your estate remains preserved for your heirs, should you eventually pass away. 

Considerations to Make When Choosing a Power of Attorney 

When you assign a financial power of attorney, you are giving that person the power to handle your financial affairs. Healthcare proxies make decisions relating to your health. In either case, it is critical that you explicitly trust the person you select to make decisions that are in your best interest, and in accordance with your wishes. As such, there are a few things that you might want to consider when selecting your financial power of attorney or healthcare proxy:

  • Does the person in question have a history of financial problems? Such issues can indicate that the person is unable to effectively manage money;
  • Have you ever had a disagreement with the person? If so, you may want to consider whether they may be secretly holding a grudge against you;
  • Would you say that the person in question is strong, or are they easily persuaded? The latter may find it difficult to respect your wishes if they experience push-back from others in your life; and
  • Do you consider the person in question to be someone of good character? Anyone who works in their own best interests in front of you may be more than willing to defraud you during incapacitation.

Contact Our Wheaton Estate Planning Lawyers Before Taking the Next Step

Once you have selected someone that you feel is trustworthy, honest, and willing to work in your best interests, regardless of the circumstances, take the next step and contact Stock, Carlson & Duff LLC for assistance. Our seasoned DuPage County wills and trusts lawyers can help ensure that your wishes are clearly stated, and that they comply with all laws so that you are effectively represented during incapacitation. Call 630-665-2500 today. 

Source:

http://www.eldercarelink.com/Legal-and-Financial/Understanding-and-Selecting-a-Financial-Power-of-Attorney.htm