When Do I Need A Power of Attorney?

  • Power of Attorney
What Is A Springing Power of Attorney? | Mario Godoy | Chicago Estate & Probate Lawyer

A Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document giving someone else the right to act on your behalf. If you want someone to act on your behalf, you can give them a legally enforceable POA that lasts for one day or one transaction only, or that remains in effect indefinitely.

How to Get a Power of Attorney in Illinois

It’s important that your Power of Attorney is legally binding and that you can demonstrate that you did – or did not – authorize someone to act on your behalf. In general, the legal qualifications for a POA are:

  • You must be legally competent
    If for example, a seriously ill person signs a POA, it can be challenged that they were not mentally competent when they signed it.
  • Many states require a POA to be signed by witnesses
  • Many states require a POA to be notarized
  • Some states require you to file a Power of Attorney with your county of record

Types of POAs in Illinois

Illinois has 3 types of Power of Attorney:

  1. Limited power of attorney
  2. Durable power of attorney
  3. Springing power of attorney

You can download a POA on the internet, fill it out and sign it. But that doesn’t make it enforceable. Different states have different requirements for a Power of Attorney.  

How Are Power of Attorneys Helpful?

Often POAs are used for medical or financial situations, but there are many instances where a power of attorney can be helpful.

  1. Travel 
    When someone is going to travel for an extended period of time and be unreachable they may ask an attorney, business partner or financial advisor to make decisions if necessary
  2. Military Service
    If someone is in the military they may ask a parent to represent them if the need arises
  3. Financial
    During a financial transaction such as a real estate closing and you cannot be present, you can give a spouse, your agent or another person permission to close the deal on your behalf
  4. Health Care
    If you are ill or undergoing surgery you may appoint a health care advocate to make decisions if you become incapacitated
  5. Childcare
    If your children spend extended periods of time outside of your care, such as with grandparents or at a boarding school, you may authorize them to make decisions such as school field trips, flights or other typical parental responsibilities


When you work with an attorney to execute a power of attorney lawyer, they can explain the ramifications and advise you of the best POA to fit your needs. To talk to a Chicago attorney contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois at (630) 382-8063.