Should I Appoint Co-Agents Or Successor Agents In My POA?

  • Estate Planning
should i appoint co agents or successor agents in my POA | estate and probate legal group

You understand that you should have a will or trust to distribute your assets after you die. But an estate plan also helps you establish documents to care for you if you become incapacitated. When setting up your estate plan, one very important document you will draft is a Power of Attorney (POA). One question you may ask yourself: ‘Should I appoint co-agents or successor agents in my POA?’ Which is better?

What Is A Power Of Attorney?

A power of attorney (POA) allows someone to act on your behalf and make legal decisions when you can’t. This can be a temporary or permanent situation. A POA can be drafted to be used only in some instances. Perhaps you want your son to take over your finances when you become incapacitated, but trust your daughter’s judgment on your medical care.

In Illinois we generally use two types of power of attorney.

  1. Power of Attorney of Property
  2. Power of Attorney for Health

What Is An Agent And A Co-Agent?

A person becomes the agent when you authorize someone to take over your legal obligations (bills, medical, property, etc.). But is it possible to have more than one agent? Yes, you may technically  have co-agents named as your power of attorney. However, you may not use the state of Illinois’s statutory form to do so. You would need to draft a custom POA. How you draft co-agents depends on your situation.

What Is A Successor Agent?

What will happen to your estate if you have one agent named in your power of attorney and they cannot perform the duties? If the designated person dies, becomes incapacitated, is not qualified, or does not want to take on the position of power of attorney, you need a backup person who will step up and handle your affairs. This is why it’s important to name a successor agent (or backup agent).

According to the American Bar Association, “Regardless of whether you name co-agents, you should always name one or more successor agents…”

When you work with an experienced estate planning attorney, they will talk with you, help you decide if you need co-agents and help you name your successor agent.

DuPage and Kane County Power of Attorney Lawyer

When you work with an attorney to execute a Power of Attorney, they can help you decide the best type of POA to fit your needs. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835 to talk to an Illinois POA attorney.

Areas We Serve: Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties.