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Durable Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual, referred to as the “principal,” to give authority to another person, referred to as the "agent" or "attorney-in-fact," the authority to act on his (or her) behalf on occasions when the principal is not able to. Powers of attorneys are often used for convenience. For example, the principal may give the power of attorney to an agent because the principal is going o be out of town and unable to sign documents to complete a transaction. However, a power of attorney can also be executed for use in the event that the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to make decisions or conduct business. To learn more about how to makes sure that your finances and personal care are not put in jeopardy in the event you should ever become incapacitated, contact an experienced Chicago durable power attorney lawyer who will explain to you how powers of attorney works and how one can help you plan for the future.

Durable Power of Attorney

Under Article II of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act, Illinois acknowledges the right to create durable powers of attorney. Typically a power of attorney ends when the principal becomes incapacitated. If the power of attorney is durable, it remains in effect even if principal becomes incapacitated. Thus, in order to make sure that your agent has authority in the event you become incapacitated, you must make sure that there is language in your power of attorney indicating that it is durable

Authority Given in Power of Attorney

A power of attorney can be create for property and financial matters, or for health care. There is a wide variety of authority that a principal can give the agent including authority to complete:

  • Real estate transactions
  • Banking and transactions with other financial institutions
  • Investment decisions and complete investment transactions
  • Transactions related to personal property
  • Retirement plan transactions
  • Pay taxes you owe such as federal, state and city taxes.
  • Borrow money

To learn more about the authority that you can give in a power of attorney for property, contact an experienced Chicago durable power of attorney lawyer.

With a power of attorney for healthcare, you can grant someone the authority to:

  • Make decisions about health care facilities

  • Consent to or refuse life extending treatments such as CPR, tube feeding, respiratory machine

  • Make decisions about organ donation

  • Make decisions regarding burial or cremation

Regardless of the specific authority granted to the agent in the durable power of attorney, as a durable power of attorney lawyer in Chicago will explain, the agent has the legal obligation to act in the principal’s best interest and not in his or her best interest. This means that the agent must act in good faith, must keep detailed records of transactions made on behalf of the principal, must not do any act that is beyond the scope of the power of attorney, and must not borrow funds from the principal without authorization.

Executing a Durable Power of Attorney

Illinois has forms that you can used to create powers of attorney. The forms must be completed and signed by both the principal and the agent. A witness must be present when the documents are signed, and the witness must also sign the documents. If you are executing a power of attorney for property, it must be notarized.

Before completing the power of attorney, think carefully about who you plan to name as your agent. Regardless of whether the power of attorney is for property or for health care, the agent will have a great deal of power. It is critical that you select someone who is trustworthy.

The power of attorney will end on the date indicated in the power of attorney or upon your death. You can modify or revoke a power of attorney at any time as long as your have the mental capacity to do so.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

In order to ensure that your powers of attorney and other estate planning documents are drafted in a manner that is consistent with your specific needs and goals, it is important to work with an experienced durable power of attorney lawyer serving Chicago. The experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates will ensure that you have customized powers of attorney that fit both your health care needs and your financial needs. We have years of experience representing clients in matters related to estate planning and estate litigation. We are here to help. Contact us at 855-454-5529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve individuals throughout Chicago.

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