IMPORTANT NOTE: Effective July 1, 2011 the new Illinois Power of Attorney Act became effective which substantially modified the prior law. The new act creates new statutory Durable Powers of Attorney for healthcare and property that are intended to better protect principals, agents, and third parties. If you wish to update your existing Durable Powers of Attorney please call the Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates 847-253-7500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org >
There's more to estate planning than deciding who will get your money after you die. Estate Planning also means deciding who will manage your business and legal affairs if you ever become incapacitated.
A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you give another person legal authority to act for you. A durable Power of Attorney authorizes your agent to continue to act for you after you become incapacitated. A Durable Power of Attorney for Property allows your agent to carry out financial tasks for you when you cannot do so. This might include paying your bills, managing your property, and handling other money matters. A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets your agent make medical decisions for you when you can't make these decisions.
Every Estate plan which the Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates prepares includes a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Durable Power of Attorney for Property. Durable Powers of Attorney are one of the most important legal documents which everyone needs. If you become incapacitated without durable powers, it may be necessary to go to court to have a guardian appointed for you to make decisions on your behalf, both a time consuming and expensive process. Further, with a guardianship you may not have the person making the decisions for you that you would have chosen.
The Power of Attorney can be very specific or very general, and you can give the Power of Attorney to anyone you choose. Your agent does not have to be an attorney. Choose someone you can trust. It might be your daughter, or your brother, sister, or spouse.
A durable Power of Attorney authorizes your agent to continue to act for you after you become incapacitated. This document ends at your death. It can take effect as soon as you sign it, or it can be written so it goes into effect if you become incapacitated. Be very careful to define clearly exactly how others will determine that the "springing event" has occurred.
The Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates prepares separate Durable Powers of Attorney for Property and Health Care. You may choose different agents for each or the same agent for both and you specify the terms your chosen agent must follow in carrying out your wishes. A durable Medical Power of Attorney appoints a person to make medical decisions for you. This allows your agent to participate in medical discussions and weigh the pros and cons of treatment decisions. The agent then can make an informed decision in accordance with your wishes. A durable Medical Power of Attorney lets you give specific instructions about any treatment that you want done or want to avoid. You can include whatever issues you care about most.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Property allows your agent to handle your financial affairs while you’re incapacitated. Accordingly, your agent can collect your income and pay your rent and utilities, so you have a place to come home to after you recover. Again, you can give specific instructions or place specific limitations on the Durable Power of Attorney for Property in accordance with your wishes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT OR TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT PLEASE CALL THE LAW OFFICE OF JAMES C. SIEBERT & ASSOCIATES AT 847-253-7500, E-MAIL INFO@JCSLAW.COM OR YOU MAY CONTACT THE LAW OFFICE OF JAMES C. SIEBERT & ASSOCIATES THROUGH THIS WEBSITE.