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Why Should I Appoint a Power Of Attorney?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Geneva estate planning attorneyAccidents and major life changes can happen at any moment; nobody is able to predict when something serious will occur. If an emergency arises, you may need another individual to speak on your behalf to carry out your wishes. By arranging things ahead of time, you could have a trusted delegate in place making decisions regarding your health and financials. Establishing a power of attorney (POA) is an imperative step to ensure your affairs are being handled in the manner that you wish.

Selecting a Power Of Attorney

The state of Illinois recognizes two different types of POAs: a medical POA and a financial POA, also called a POA for property. Choosing your agent depends on which type of POA you are considering.

The responsibilities differ for each POA, so here are some general guidelines for making an appropriate selection:

  • Select an agent who is at least 18 years of age;
  • Select an agent who will keep your best interests in mind;
  • Select an agent who would be able to make difficult decisions under pressure;
  • Select an agent who has a strong knowledge of you and what you would prefer, even if it is not his or her beliefs; and
  • Ensure that you have discussed in detail your wishes, and make sure the agent is OK with the power and trust you are giving him or her.

A common practice is to name several agents in the event your first choice is unable to fulfill his or her duties. 

Other Factors to Keep in Mind 

As previously noted, the agent you select must be fully aware of the power and responsibility with which you are entrusting him or her. A very common choice for a POA would be a person’s significant other. However, this could complicate matters if the couple were to get divorced. If the marriage ends, the POA would be revoked, ensuring that the principal’s best interests are carried out. It is important to note that the court can repeal an agent’s powers if it is discovered that he or she was not acting properly. Having your wishes written down and notarized ensures they will be known. If a situation were to arise in which you could not make decisions on your own, having a POA could take significant stress off your family, friends, and loved ones. 

Contact a Kane County Estate Planning Attorney

Entrusting an agent with your wishes is important to ensure that your affairs and best interests are taken care of appropriately. If you are physically or mentally unable to make decisions for yourself, it is imperative that the correct person is in charge. It is never the wrong time to sit down and decide what is best not only for you, but also for your loved ones. The devoted legal team at the Law Offices of Benedict Schwarz, II P.C. will guide you through the process to ensure you are comfortable and knowledgeable on the decisions with which you are entrusting your agent. Contact our knowledgeable Barrington POA lawyers at 847-428-7725 to schedule a free consultation. 

 

Sources:
https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/Forms/Documents/POAProperty2015.pdf
https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/gac/Forms/Documents/POAHealth2018.pdf
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/things-you-can-and-cant-do-with-poa-152673.htm

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