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NOT ALL DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY ARE EQUAL

The 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 agent’s 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 an experienced elder law attorney 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.