Durable Powers of Attorney for Health and Property

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 have 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, P.C. /Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys of Illinois, P.C  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 everyone needs. 

bigstock-Power-Of-Attorney-25776881If you become incapacitated without Durable Powers, it may be necessary for your family or friends to go to court for a Guardianship proceeding in order to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf, both a time consuming and expensive process. Furthermore, when the court appoints a guardian, 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 with the responsibility. It might be your daughter, brother, friend, or spouse.

As the Durable Powers of Attorney for Property and Health Care are separate documents, you may choose the same or different agents to carry out your wishes for each depending on who in your life is best suited for the role. A Durable Power of Attorney authorizes your agent to continue to act for you after you have become incapacitated. This document ends at your death. It can take effect as soon as you sign it, or at a future date if you were to become incapacitated.

A Durable Health Care 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 Health Care Power of Attorney lets you give specific instructions about any treatment that you want done or want to avoid and about organ donation. You can include whatever issues you care about most.

bigstock-A-Signing-Of-Document-6691558A Durable Power of Attorney for Property allows your agent to handle your financial affairs. Your agent can collect your income and pay your rent and utilities, if you were to become temporarily incapacitated, so that 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. Call the Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates, P.C. /Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys of Illinois, P.C. at (847)253-7500 today to schedule an appointment with an experienced Estate Planning Attorney.

NOT ALL DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY ARE EQUAL

durable power of attorneyThe Illinois Power of Attorney Act sets forth the base criteria for the creation of a Durable Power of Attorney for Property and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. In fact the act contains a standard form which represents the basic standard form that can be used. While the Act sets forth this base standard form, it clearly indicates that only certain provisions are mandatory and that in use a Durable Power of Attorney can be substantially modified and still be valid provided those mandatory provisions are included. While on the face of these documents they appear to cover most everything, the fact is the powers granted under these documents has limitations and restrictions as set forth in the Act as well as a result of specific Court Decisions.

Many attorneys, especially those who are not as experienced in estate planning or elder law will simply use this base form without modification or minimal modification. An experienced Elder Law Attorney will substantially modify the standard provisions of both the Durable Power of Attorney for Property and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care to include additional powers specifically designed to allow the agent to carry out principal’s wishes as to long term care planning.

Frequently, the Elder Law Attorney will also include limitations on an agents authority in order to respect the principal’s wishes, protect the principal from actions of the agent which might unknowingly waive some of the Principal’s rights under Federal and State law, as well as provisions designed to protect the agent from personal liability for the principal’s debts. An experienced Elder Law Attorney has had years of dealing with Clients and the practical issues that arise when attempting to use a Durable Power of Attorney and modify the Durable Powers of Attorney which they prepare to address these practical issues to protect you.

Let the Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates, P.C. /Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys of Illinois, P.C. use their years of experience in preparing Durable Powers of Attorney for Property and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care for you which reflect that experience and are drafted to address the real life scenarios that you may encounter. Call Now (847)253-7500 to schedule an appointment to have the Law Office of James C. Siebert & Associates, P.C. /Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorneys of Illinois, P.C update your Durable Powers of Attorney in order to maximize the protection they provide while you are disabled.


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