By creating a power of attorney document, an individual gives another person the power to make decisions on his or her behalf. The types of decisions that an agent is allowed to make are specified in the document itself. It isn’t uncommon for people in Illinois and other states to have separate financial and medical power of attorney documents. It is also possible to grant limited powers to multiple individuals or entities.
For example, a person may want to grant a family member the power to oversee a bank account or pay important bills if he or she becomes incapacitated. That individual may then grant another person the ability to make treatment decisions on his or her behalf in accordance with an advance medical directive. By delegating powers through multiple documents, each agent knows what their roles are and the authority that has been granted to them.
If multiple people are listed on a single power of attorney document, they may become confused as to what they are allowed to do. In some cases, agents may overstep their boundaries or otherwise make decisions that they lack the authority or discretion to make. While an agent may not intentionally make an error in carrying out a person’s wishes, it could still result in negative consequences that can be avoided by creating multiple powers of attorney.
For many people, estate planning is about more than just writing a will or creating a trust. Ideally, it will provide ways to protect assets, minimize tax liabilities and minimize the chances of family infighting. An attorney may be able to help a person craft an estate plan that meets his or her current and future needs.