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Are There Different Types of Powers of Attorney?

Posted on in Estate Planning Blog

lombard power of attorney lawyerA power of attorney is a legal document that gives another person, called the “agent,” the power to make decisions on your behalf. Powers of attorney can be as limited in scope as allowing your agent to handle one specific transaction for you, or as broad as giving your agent general and permanent power to manage all of your finances and medical decision-making. It is very important to consult with a qualified attorney before you execute any power of attorney. These legal documents can be quite complicated, and an experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that your wishes will be carried out correctly. 

What is the Difference Between Durable and Springing Powers of Attorney? 

The main difference between a durable power of attorney and a springing power of attorney is that a durable power of attorney takes effect immediately and gives your agent the ability to start making decisions for you, managing your finances, or any other included powers right away. It is effective for the rest of your life unless you revoke it. A durable power of attorney is not affected if you become incapacitated. One advantage of a durable power of attorney is that since it is already in effect, the transition after you become incapacitated can be seamless. 

A springing power of attorney does not give your agent any powers unless you become incapacitated. In Illinois, you are considered incapacitated when two doctors agree that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. 

What is a Special Power of Attorney? 

A special power of attorney gives your agent only very specific powers named in the document. For example, you may trust one person to make healthcare decisions for you, but would like a different person to manage your finances. Or, you may want to give another person only a very limited power, such as to handle a single real estate transaction for you. Here are some common types of specific powers of attorney: 

  • Power of Attorney for Health Care - This type authorizes an agent to make decisions on your behalf only if they have to do with your medical care. You can be very specific in a healthcare power of attorney about what types of medical care your agent can and can not consent to on your behalf or what your end-of-life wishes are. 

  • Power of Attorney for Property - This type authorizes an agent to make only financial decisions for you. It may enable your agent to do things like accessing your bank and retirement accounts to pay your costs of living. 

  • Other specific or limited purposes- These powers of attorney are very specific documents and often fill a short-term need. For example, you may use this type if you are out of the country or in a short-term care facility and need an agent to handle a real estate transaction on your behalf. 

Contact a Lombard Estate Planning Attorney

Always seek the advice of a qualified lawyer before signing a power of attorney. The experienced attorneys at A. Traub & Associates are ready to help you create any and all powers of attorney you may need. Contact our DuPage County estate planning lawyers for help today. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ChapterID=60&ActID=2113

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/power_of_attorney/

 

Illinois State Bar Association DuPage County Bar Association Northwest Suburban Bar Association American Inns of Court DuPage Association of Woman Lawyers National Association of Woman Business Owners Illinois Association Criminal Defense Lawyers DuPage County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
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