Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chicago Estate Planning Attorney | Powers of Attorney

Many clients have been very confused about the meaning and usefulness of the documents called Powers of Attorney. This post will explain what these documents are and how you should use them. To begin there are two types of estate planning documents. One type is documents that have an effect while you are alive and the other type has an effect when you are dead. Powers of attorney have an effect while you are alive. For the most part, their power terminates at your death.

Now that we know when they are effective, what do they do?

There are two types of Powers of Attorney; 1) Power of Attorney for Property, 2) Power of Attorney for Health Care. In general, you as the "principal" designates a friend or family member to act as your "agent". That agent will then be able to make decisions and take actions on your behalf when you are unable to. These documents help individuals who can not take the appropriate actions that will promote their best interests. I know that the preceding sentence seems either confusing, or not applicable to you. I will show you that this type of situation will probably happen at some point during the course of your life.

You may need a power of attorney if ...

  • you are in an accident and can not make medical decisions on your own behalf. 
  • you are in an accident and you can't update the CD at the bank that came due.
  • you are on vacation and you forgot that you had a closing on one of your properties.
  • you are on vacation and your cell phone contract came due and you want to keep your plan.
  • you have to be in two places at once to sign documents.
  • you have mobility issues that makes getting to a location difficult.
As you can see, this is just a small sampling of times when a Power of Attorney can be either crucial or extremely convenient. If you would like to find out more about Powers of Attorney, you can contact my law office in Oak Lawn, Illinois at:

5013 W. 95th St.
Oak Lawn, IL 60453
(708) 529-7794