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Don’t Skip Having a Power of Attorney

INCAPACITY WITHOUT A POWER OF ATTORNEY

Naperville and Plainfield Estate Planning and the Revocable Living Trust Attorney

Many people ignore Last Wills and Testaments and Powers of Attorney until it is too late.  Often, baby boomers and their parents often have been diagnosed with early stage dementia. We get phone calls where adult children are asking whether a financial and healthcare power of attorney can be created.  In the alternative, a person has a stroke unexpectedly such as one of our clients in their early 50s without a financial or healthcare power of attorney. Incapacity without a power of attorney is a nightmare scenario.  

Guardianship is a court process where a person must be appointed to manage someone’s finances on a temporary and permanent basis.  This process can be complex and costly including payment of attorney’s fees, surety bonds, and other court costs. Often, the process of guardianship comes at a difficult time and during trying health times for the loved ones.  The surviving spouse must juggle getting appointed as a guardian while continuing to support their husband or wife. Incapacity is the process where somebody lacks the ability to understand the consequences of their financial or healthcare decisions.  Simply put, a trusted love one must be appointed to manage financial and healthcare decisions for you because your loved ones are incapable of making these decisions by themselves.

Purpose of a Financial Power of Attorney or otherwise known as an Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Property

A power of attorney for property is a legal document where an adult appoints an agent or another person to make financial decisions for themselves.  The Illinois Short Form Power of Attorney for Property warns the person creating the power of attorney that they are giving an agent broad powers to manage their financial affairs such as the following:

  • Ability to sell or rent real estate property including refinance real estate property;
  • Power to sign checks and set up checking and savings accounts
  • Dispose of personal property even without your consent or advance notice to you.

Many persons want to appoint co-agents, which is impossible.  Under Illinois law, co-agents are impermissible. It is important to select an agent or person that you trust.  This person should be good with finances and keeping financial records. Your agent also should act in your best interests and in good faith.  Your agent must keep all disbursements, receipts, and records of significant decisions made while they were your power of attorney. An experienced estate planning attorney is critical to help make the correct power of attorney decisions.  Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm may be reached at 630-780-1034 or via online interview form.   

Purpose of a Healthcare Power of Attorney or otherwise known as Illinois Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Healthcare

A Power of Attorney for Healthcare is often called an “Advanced Directive” in the State of Illinois.  The purpose of a power of attorney is to appoint an agent to make healthcare decisions for yourself when you are incapable of making these decisions.  Most people will appoint their spouse, siblings, and/or parent(s) to be their agent over medical and healthcare decisions. In Illinois, your power of attorney for healthcare and finances must be notarized and witnessed by at least one independent person.  One of the goals of a power of attorney is to assist you to make important financial and health related decisions when one is incapable of making these decisions.

Often, the elderly and children of the elderly determine to obtain a power of attorney in emergency situations.  When a person has developed an incapacity making a power of attorney is too late. The ultimate time to make a power of attorney is when one is in good health and shape.  There are several key questions to ask when determining whether a person is a good candidate for your healthcare agent.  

The first question is how will your family or friends handle the stress of an emergency crisis.  Some people are incapable of conducting themselves in a manner where they can be level headed. For example, a person may be incapable of making difficult decisions such as whether to maintain life sustaining treatment or may determine to maintain a procedure although one is unlikely to experience any progress other than pain.  Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm are experienced power of attorney and estate planning lawyers that assist residents of Naperville, Oswego, Yorkville, Aurora, Lisle, Wheaton, and Plainfield (Illinois) with their powers of attorney and estates and trust related issues.  

Experienced Family Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys in South Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield, Romeoville, and Bolingbrook

The best way to reach Sean Robertson is through the online contact form or phone call at 630-780-1034.  Sean Robertson and Gateville Law Firm are your experienced Naperville and Plainfield area attorneys servicing your Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning related issues.  



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Yorkville, Illinois 60560