When you create your estate plan, you also name certain people to act on your behalf if you become seriously ill and cannot speak for yourself. A durable power of attorney, which lasts indefinitely. In most cases, a durable power of attorney (DPOA) is used to allow the designated person to handle affairs in a specific area of a person’s life, such as in financial or health matters if you become incapacitated. When you create a durable power of attorney, the person you name to act on your behalf is legally known as an Attorney-In-Fact. An Illinois Attorney-In-Fact should be trusted to carry out your wishes following the guidelines and criteria you established.
Power of attorney agreements are regulated by state laws and Illinois POAs and have specific legal criteria that must be met, including:
• The power of attorney must be in writing and designated by name the agent or Attorney-In-Fact.
• The POA must be signed by the person creating it and witnessed by someone at least 18 years old.
• The power of attorney must be notarized to verify the signature.
1. An Attorney-In-Fact can only take actions on your behalf while you are alive. Once you die, the durable power of attorney is no longer in effect and your Illinois Attorney-In-Fact no longer has any powers on your behalf.
2. An Attorney-in-Fact only has control over those assets that are not held in a trust. The trust assets are managed by a Trustee.
3. You can cancel or revoke the DPOA at any time, and end the powers of your Attorney-In-Fact. You can have more than one power of attorney, and change or create a new DPOA with a new Attorney-In-Fact.
Creating a durable power of attorney protects you and your family if you can no longer handle your health or financial problems. An experienced power of attorney lawyer can explain your options and the ramifications of each type of POA, and advise you of the right powers to fit your needs.
A durable power of attorney is an important document to identify who you want to make your health and financial decisions if you become incapacitated in some way. For more information about how custom powers of attorney could benefit your situation, contact Estate & Probate Legal Group in Illinois today at 630.382.8073.