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Tips for Choosing a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property

 Posted on June 17, 2022 in Power of Attorney

power-of-attorney_20220615-185715_1.jpgEstate planning is one of those responsibilities that many people put off for as long as possible. However, proper estate planning is crucial to ensuring your wishes are followed if you become incapacitated or pass away. An important part of your estate planning process is choosing a power of attorney (POA). Your POA will have the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make or express your wishes. It is important to choose someone you trust who can handle this vital responsibility.

The Main Types of Power of Attorney in Illinois

There are two main types of power of attorney. A power of attorney for health care gives someone else the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf. A health care POA will be expected to make decisions about the types of medical treatment you do and do not receive if you are incapacitated by illness or injury.

A financial power of attorney gives someone the authority to handle your finances if you cannot do so yourself. For example, your financial POA may pay your bills or file taxes if you are too sick to manage these issues. You can choose to have the same person act as healthcare and financial power of attorney or you can assign these roles separately.

Selecting the Right Power of Attorney

Your power of attorney will have substantial authority over your life, so the importance of choosing the right person can hardly be overstated. You can also choose a successor agent who will become your power of attorney if your first choice cannot fulfill the responsibilities.

Make sure to choose someone who:

  • Is at least 18 years old
  • Is of sound mind and able to think clearly
  • Is trustworthy and willing to follow your wishes regarding medical care or financial concerns
  • Knows you well enough to know what types of decisions you would make
  • Can handle the stress associated with making medical or financial decisions on your behalf
  • Is responsible and able to follow through with commitments
  • Lives relatively close to you
  • Is willing to take on the role of power of attorney

Contact a DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyer

Choosing a power of attorney is just one aspect of the estate planning process. For help with wills, trusts, POAs, living wills, and other estate planning needs, contact Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC. Our Wheaton estate planning attorneys can help you understand which estate planning tools will best meet your needs and implement those tools effectively. Call our office at 630-665-2500 for a confidential consultation.


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