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What Are the Key Aspects of a Power of Attorney in Illinois?

 Posted on August 30, 2023 in Estate Planning Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerSometimes, we face illnesses or disabilities that limit us from making important decisions. But before that happens, you can appoint an individual to handle your crucial choices. As the subject of this arrangement, you are the principal, while the person you select is the agent with power of attorney. There are several types of POA and each includes an in-depth process to ensure the principal's assets and interests are upheld. An attorney can help you understand all these details to reduce risks and ensure that the document remains in your best interest while following the state laws of Illinois.

What Are the Different Types of Power of Attorney?

The principal must determine which type of POA best meets their requirements. Here are a few different powers of attorney that Illinois accepts:

  • Healthcare: This POA can make medical and healthcare choices on the principal's behalf when they cannot do so independently. 

  • Financial: This POA manages a principal's business and financial affairs, including signing checks, filing taxes, and managing investment accounts. 

  • General: This POA has the authority to make financial and legal decisions. 

  • Limited: This is also called Special Power of Attorney and allows the POA to have specific powers for a particular period or purpose. 

  • Springing: This POA may come into play when the principal becomes incapacitated

  • Durable: This arrangement stays in effect even if the principal is incapacitated.

How to Choose an Agent With Power of Attorney?

The agent should be a reliable individual that the principal can trust. The principal should also ensure the agent can handle all the duties and holds the necessary skills to perform them. The agent can often be a family member, a close acquaintance, or a lawyer. To establish a power of attorney, the principal must write and sign a power of attorney in the presence of a witness, and the paperwork should be notarized. You may also need a written form of the agent’s acceptance. 

Can You Override the Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney already in place cannot be revoked by next of kin or other family members. This is a significant factor to consider since there are risks involved. To avoid theft or self-dealing from your agent, you can request within your POA that they report their duties to an outside party. This outside party can be an estate planning attorney, who can also help you change the POA as relationships and circumstances change over time.

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Attorneys

In a nutshell, agents with power of attorney decide on property, financial, personal, or health care decisions for the principal. It is essential to select someone who can perform these tasks ethically and under the principal's wishes, but that does not happen all the time. At A. Traub & Associates, we can assist you in developing a power of attorney that safeguards you and your assets. Contact one of our Lombard, IL, estate planning attorneys at 630-426-0196 to schedule your initial consultation.

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