Do you have a plan in place for the management of your affairs if you should become incapacitated or unable to make such decisions for yourself? Unfortunately, a great many people have never even considered that possibility, and have no such plan in the event of an unforeseen accident or illness. Making a plan, however, does not need to be long, involved process; it can be as simple as selecting a trusted friend, family member, or other individual to act as your power of attorney, and granting that that person the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. As preparations like these become especially important for people as they get older, a qualified elder law attorney can help you draft the necessary documents quickly and easily.
What is Power of Attorney?
The most common type of power of attorney related to personal matters is called a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney is a written document that provides authority to a person—or agent—to act on behalf of the document’s creator—or principal—in matters specifically addressed in the document. Durable powers of attorney remain in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated, which, in many cases, is the principal’s main reason for creating the power of attorney.
Types of Powers of Attorney
Under Illinois law, there are two different types of powers of attorney. A power of attorney for property grants the agent the authority to act on the principal’s behalf in monetary and financial matters during the principal’s lifetime, or until the power of attorney is revoked. A power of attorney for health care is intended to address the medical and health-related needs of the principal, and is often used in conjunction with a living will. A living will can provide specific instructions for death-delaying procedures, but the power of attorney for health care is able to make more complicated decisions.
Depending upon the wishes of the principal, the two different powers of attorney may be granted to separate individuals, or to the same agent. Additionally, the principal may also grant very broad or very limited powers to his or her agent, based upon his or her needs and discretion.
Get Legal Assistance
If you are looking toward the future and are considering a power of attorney for property or health care, contact an experienced Orland Park elder law attorney. At Kezy & Associates, we are committed to helping you develop a comprehensive plan that provides security to both you and your loved ones. Call 708-518-8200 for your free consultation today.