In Illinois, if you do not have a power of attorney and you become unable to manage your affairs, it may be necessary for your loved ones to file a court case and ask a judge to appoint someone to act for you.
Unfortunately, you may not even have a say in who the judge appoints to act for you.
If you are married, you become incapacitated and your spouse is not on the title of your home, you will not be able to sell or refinance your home unless you go to court and have a guardian appointed.
The same is true for bank accounts. If your spouse is not listed as an owner or signer on your bank accounts and you are incapacitated, they will not be able to access the money in the accounts without going to court and being appointed as your guardian. This can leave your spouse and loved ones without access to your money when they need it to support you.
An easy way to avoid this nightmare is to sign a durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney remains valid once signed until you die or revoke the document.