If you become ill and are rendered unable to handle your own finances, it will be in your best interest to have someone appointed to take care of your financial well being. Such a person is an agent, and by giving this responsibility, you have granted them your power of attorney. Below are some important things for Illinois residents to consider before granting power of attorney.
Who Can Serve as My Agent?
As suggested above, your agent—the person who receives your power of attorney—is capable of making financial and medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated due to injury or illness.
Any adult can be your agent, whether or not her or she is a lawyer. Therefore, when choosing your agent, it is important you pick someone who is honest, trustworthy and responsible. You want an agent who will make the same financial and medical decisions you would make if you were able to do so.
How Do I Grant Power of Attorney?
Granting power of attorney to your agent is quite simple. After choosing your agent, you must obtain a power of attorney form. These forms can easily be found online or through an attorney.
Both you and your agent will need to sign the form and have it notarized. Most banks offer public notary services free of charge. At this point, you have granted your agent power of attorney with regards to the decisions and situations outlined in your agreement.
Do I Need an Attorney?
Even though it is fairly easy to appoint someone as you agent, it is not a decision that should be taken lightly. An experienced estate lawyer can help you draft up a power of attorney form that addresses your goals and concerns. He or she can also provide advice on other estate lawyer matters.