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McHenry, Illinois

Power of Attorney Lawyers

A power of attorney is a powerful legal document that can help protect your family’s future. It authorizes another person to act as your attorney or agent.

For estate planning purposes, creating a power of attorney ensures there is no confusion about who can make decisions on your behalf in case of an emergency.

At Diamond Estate Planning, our experienced Illinois attorneys can help you help prepare your family for the future by creating a power of attorney that works for your needs.

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Illinois Power of Attorney

A power of attorney allows someone of your choosing to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
There are many factors involved in a power of attorney:
  • The powers you give in this document can be limited, such as closing on the sale of your home, or be more general, such as managing all of your health care decisions.
  • The powers you give can also be temporary or permanent. If you sign a power of attorney and you change your mind about who you want to appoint or what powers you want to give them, you can amend or revoke your power of attorney.
  • A power of attorney can take effect immediately or upon the occurrence of a future event.

For estate planning purposes, creating a power of attorney for a future event is usually the determination that you are unable to act for yourself due to a mental or physical disability.

The person you name in your power of attorney to act for you is commonly referred to as your “agent” or “attorney in fact.”

Why do I need a Power of Attorney in Illinois?

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.

Types of Power of Attorney in Illinois

When you think about protecting your family’s future, there are three different types of power of attorney documents:


Power of Attorney for Property

A power of attorney for property is a document that allows you to delegate the power to make decisions regarding assets, finances, and other property (including real estate) to another person. It allows you to decide in advance who will manage your property and financial affairs for you if you are unable to do so.


Power of Attorney for Health Care

A power of attorney for health care allows someone else to make your health care decisions if you are unable to communicate your wishes. If you are married, your spouse is usually your first choice for this, but it is also important to choose a second and third person in case something happens and your spouse is not around. It’s important to note that the person you designate as your agent must be at least 18 years old and cannot be your doctor or someone who is paid to provide you with health care services.


Living Will

(sometimes known as an Advance Directive)

In Illinois, a living will is a set of instructions for your healthcare providers on what your wishes are for healthcare decisions and healthcare-related treatments. A living will is effective if you fall terminally ill and are unable to verbally or consciously convey your wishes.

Sometimes a living will is called an advance directive, and in fact, a living will is actually one type of advance directive.

An advance directive is a set of legal orders which concern your wishes surrounding future medical care if you are unable to make your wishes known. It can provide your family and health care providers instructions on how to deal with conditions such as stroke, coma or dementia. An advance directive can also convey your preferences regarding medical treatments, resuscitation efforts and life-sustaining efforts.

Power of Attorney requirements in Illinois

Any resident of Illinois who is 18 years of age or older and has the legal capacity to make his or her own decisions can execute a power of attorney.

To be enforceable in Illinois, a power of attorney must be signed in the presence of one witness and the signature needs to be notarized. The notary cannot also act as a witness.

If you want to use a power of attorney in another state, it needs to be signed in compliance with that state’s signature requirements. When in doubt, it is always best to have extra qualified witnesses to maximize the enforceability of the power of attorney.

Contact Diamond Estate Planning

If you are interested in learning more about which power of attorney or advance directive is right for you, our team at Diamond Estate Planning is ready to help.

We can help you understand all of the different options available and prepare exactly what you need to protect your wishes and your family’s future. We will also help you properly sign the documents. Give us a call at 779-704-5738 to chat with our next available team member.

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