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Choosing Your Power of Attorney

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning lawyersAs you look toward the future, you may realize that there could be a time when you are limited in your decision-making abilities. It may become impossible for you to express your wishes regarding your finances, property, and even your own medical care. To prepare for such a possibility, Illinois law allows you to select an individual to serve as your power of attorney for these types of decisions. Your power of attorney will have the authority to make decisions on your behalf if and when you are no longer able to do so.

The Right Person

The individual that you choose to serve as your power of attorney must be capable of handling his or her assigned responsibilities. This means that he or she should:

  • Pay close attention to details;
  • Be organized with money and other important decisions;
  • Have an understanding of finances and/or health care and insurance, depending on the type of power of attorney;
  • Have the ability to work closely with attorneys, accountants, medical professionals, and others to protect your interests.

It also extremely important for your chosen agent—as such a person is known in the law—to be fully willing to serve in the role for which he or she was selected. A half-hearted power of attorney will not help your situation, so if the person you want is uncertain, you should probably consider someone else.

Someone You Know and Trust

The other element of choosing an agent to serve as power of attorney is a personal connection. Your power of attorney should have a full knowledge and understanding your financial and/or medical situation. Knowledge, however, is not enough. The person you choose should also understand your values and be willing to make decisions that reflect them—even if he or she personally does not share them. You must be able to rely on your agent to make decisions that are in line with your beliefs and priorities.

Age and Health

Finally, since a power of attorney’s role begins in earnest when you become incapacitated, you need to choose an agent who you expect to outlive you. Unexpected tragedies aside, you should consider a younger, healthier person whose own physical or mental concerns will not interfere with his or her abilities to carry out his or her duties as power of attorney.

If you need guidance in selecting a power of attorney for your finances or health care decisions, we can help. Contact an experienced Lombard estate planning attorney to discuss your situation today. Call 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation at any one of our three convenient office locations.

 

Sources:

http://money.cnn.com/pf/money-essentials-power-of-attorney/

https://www.everplans.com/articles/how-to-choose-a-power-of-attorney

 


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