Geneva Estate Planning LawyerFor most adults, the prospect of being unable to make your own decisions is not something we want to consider. While this is understandable, incapacitation planning is still a crucial part of the estate planning process. Planning for the possibility of severe illness is important regardless of your age, health, or financial circumstances.

A power of attorney is an estate planning tool that lets you choose another individual to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. In this blog, we will answer some of the most common questions people have about powers of attorney in Illinois.

What Does a Power of Attorney Agent Do?

The power of attorney agent, or “attorney-in-fact,” has the authority to make decisions about your personal affairs if you are too sick to do so yourself. A power of attorney for healthcare permits the agent to make medical decisions on your behalf, such as whether you will undergo surgery or receive certain medications or medical treatments. A power of attorney for property, or financial power of attorney, allows the agent to manage your financial affairs.

Who Should I Choose to Be My Agent?

It is important to choose an agent who is willing and capable of fulfilling the serious responsibilities required of them. Many people choose a close family member or friend to act as their agent. It is also helpful if the agent lives close to you so that they can be present during an emergency.

What if the Agent Cannot Fulfill Their Obligations?

It is recommended to designate a successor agent in your power of attorney documents so that there is another individual who will step in if the original POA agent cannot fulfill his or her responsibility. Life is full of unexpected changes; it is important to have a backup plan.

Can I Change My Mind After I Set Up a Power of Attorney?

If you set up a power of attorney but then change your mind regarding your agents, you have the ability to change the individual or individuals assigned as your agents. You will need to revoke the previous power of attorney and draft a new power of attorney document designating the new agent(s). Make sure that the new document clearly states that all prior power of attorney documents are being revoked. Notify the previous agents and your replacement agents of these changes to avoid any confusion.

Contact our Geneva Estate Planning Lawyer

Kane County estate planning lawyer Deanna L. Aguinaga Walker has more than 25 years of legal experience. She and the rest of the team at DLAW, PC can help you understand your estate planning needs, draft the appropriate documents, or modify any existing documents. Call 331-222-7978 for a free consultation.



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