Estate Planning Attorney in Chicago IL – Powers of Attorney
Having a power of attorney (POA) document is a fundamental component of a well-rounded and strong Illinois estate plan. As a legal document, a power of attorney allows you to transfer authority of the management of your assets to a trusted person of your choice (agent). A POA can also be used to manage healthcare decisions too as part of your healthcare directives.
Your financial POA can include the management, investment, or spending of assets owned individually or in a joint account by your agent. A POA can be a helpful way to prepare for the future, but it also serves to protect the management of your assets if you were to become mentally incapacitated, for instance.
Keep in mind that the person receiving the authority is known as the “agent,” and this person doesn’t necessarily have to be an attorney. However, because you are granting control of your assets or even health care decisions if something happens to you, it is essential to carefully and diligently draft the power of attorney document including the selecting of the agent. For this reason, you should consider the legal aid of Chicago estate administration attorney James C. Provenza & Associates. To speak with attorney Provenza about your power of attorney, call our office today at (847) 729-3939.
Types of Powers of Attorney
There are several ways you can establish a power of attorney. You can grant authority in specific events of mental incapacitation such as an accident, illness, or old age related incapacity such as dementia. You can specify POA’s for financial matters or health care matters. You may need, for example, a power of attorney so your financial affairs are taken care of if you are out of the country for an extended period of time.
Some powers of attorney are quite limited in scope, and they can authorize your agent to only write checks on your behalf or only gain access to your safe deposit box. A broader power of attorney, on the other hand, gives the agent greater access to your financial affairs, such as for managing property, filing taxes, paying bills, consent to medical or surgical procedures, or even transfer property to a living trust. A power of attorney can endure indefinitely or for a specific period of time.
Illinois has a Durable Power of Attorney law, which allows for the appointment of an agent and a successor agent. It also allows for statutory powers that include property and health care.
Again estate planning attorney James Provenza can provide you with more information on Powers of Attorney and what may be best for you.
How to Get a Power of Attorney in Illinois
Most people will have a power of attorney document drawn up by their estate planning attorney. When getting a power of attorney in Illinois, one of the first and foremost questions you need to ask yourself is, “Is there a person who has my utmost trust and confidence?” Remember, the power of attorney allows an agent to control over specified matters. Depending on the scope of the responsibilities, you want to select someone who is responsible, reliable, good with financial matters and able to carry out your wishes as you would want.
Once you have decided on an agent, you will need to complete the appropriate power of attorney form. Because there are property powers of attorney and healthcare powers of attorney in Illinois, you’ll need to choose which form best suits your needs. If you are completing a property powers of attorney form, you will need to have the form notarized. You will also need a witness present upon signing (the witness must sign as well).
The final step is to provide a copy to your agent and make several copies of the original form. For the healthcare powers of attorney, give one copy to your doctor so that it is placed with your medical records. You should give your power of attorney for property to your bank as well as other financial institutions.
You can modify a power of attorney for as long as you are mentally competent to do so.
Contact James C. Provenza & Associates Today
Keep in mind that death essentially cancels the power of attorney. It is no substitute for a will. Nonetheless, creating a power of attorney is important if you want to best protect your financial assets (as well as your health) in the event that you become mentally incapacitated. Because this is such an important legal document, however, you should consult with an estate planning attorney who can provide experience-backed legal advice on the topic.
At James C. Provenza & Associates, located in Glenview, IL, we can ensure absolute diligence and supervision over the creation and, if needed, the administration of a power of attorney. To speak with our estate planning lawyers, call our law office today at (847) 729-3939.