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Do I Need a Power of Attorney for My Estate Plan in Illinois?

 Posted on May 12, 2021 in Power of Attorney

IL estate planning lawyerWhen you think of estate planning, many people jump directly to a will. While a will can be an important part of your estate plan, you should also consider implementing a power of attorney and adding it to your plan. Many people may not be familiar with powers of attorney, but they can be an essential part of any estate plan. A power of attorney is a document that allows another person to make a decision on your behalf if you are unable to do so yourself. There are various types of powers of attorney that you could enact depending on your situation and your needs. If you are thinking of adding a power of attorney to your estate plan, hiring a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer is your best option for creating a valid and enforceable power of attorney.

What Is a Power of Attorney?

In basic terms, a power of attorney is a document that gives another person the power to make certain decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself. The person you give these powers to, usually referred to as your “agent” or “attorney-in-fact,” is a person of your choosing. In many cases, a person may designate their spouse or child to be their power of attorney. You can also customize your power of attorney to include (or exclude) certain decision-making powers.

The extent of a Power of Attorney

If you create a power of attorney and do not specify which decisions they cannot make, your agent is usually able to make most decisions if you are rendered incapable of making those decisions yourself. Your agent will also be the decision-maker about the rest of your estate if you pass away if you include a durable clause in the document that allows your power of attorney to continue after death.

However, one of the biggest benefits of a power of attorney is that you can decide what kind of decisions can be made by your agent. Some of the most common powers that are given to an agent in a power of attorney include:

  • The ability to make decisions about your day-to-day finances
  • Making decisions related to your medical care if you are unable to
  • Allowing your agent to be present on your behalf in certain situations, such as signing a contract to purchase a home
  • Determining child care arrangements if you are unable to care for your children

Discuss Your Needs With a DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

At some point, for whatever reason, all of us will need someone else to make important decisions for us. If you are considering a power of attorney, you should contact our skilled Wheaton, IL estate planning lawyers to discuss how you can add it to your estate plan. At Stock, Carlson & Duff, LLC, we believe that advanced planning is the best way to avoid any future estate issues. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 630-665-2500.



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