A power of attorney in Illinois gives another person, the agent, the ability to make health care or financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions on your own. A power of attorney is flexible and can endure indefinitely or for a specified period of time. Creating a power of attorney in Illinois is straightforward, making a power of attorney accessible for those who do not want to hire an attorney for assistance.
Discuss your wishes with the person to whom you wish to grant power of attorney -- that is, your prospective agent. Third parties will be relying on your agent’s instructions and it is important for the agent you choose to understand your wishes and how you would like important matters to be carried out on your behalf. For example, if you are appointing an agent to make health care decisions for you, discuss the extent of life saving techniques you would like performed and in what situations you do not want to receive medical care.
Complete the appropriate power of attorney form. Since there are two different powers of attorney recognized in Illinois; power of attorney for property and power of attorney for health care, you need to choose which form meets your needs. Each form will ask you to convey your wishes in writing, according to a variety of situations. For example, the power of attorney form for health care includes a variety of health care situations and a space for you to describe your wishes. Both forms also provide a place to appoint a successor agent in case your principal agent is unable or does not want to act on your behalf.
Sign the form in the presence of a witness. If you are executing a power of attorney for property in Illinois, you must have the form notarized. The state of Illinois requires you to have at least one witness present when you sign the power of attorney form. The witness’s signature is also required on the form, attesting that you signed the document.
Provide a copy of the completed form to your agent. It is important to make several copies of the original form. Keep the original copy with your important documents for safekeeping. In addition, if you are executing a health care power of attorney, provide a copy of the form to your doctor to keep with your medical record. A copy of the power of attorney for property form will need to be provided to all financial institutions including your bank. You can modify the power of attorney form at any time as long as you remain competent to do so.
For assistance creating your power of attorney, consider contacting an online legal document provider or Illinois licensed attorney.
- Illinois Department of Aging: Legal Cautions to Consider
- Illinois Department of Aging: Illinois Statutory Short Form, Power of Attorney for Health Care
- Southern Illinois University School of Law: How to Protect Your Assets and Your Wishes for Medical Treatment by Having a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Property in Illinois
- State Universities Retirement System of Illinois: Statutory Short Form Power of Attorney for Property
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