If you get sick to a point where you cannot make medical and financial decisions for yourself, you will need someone you trust in Illinois to make these decisions for you. Nominating a durable power of attorney is crucial when creating your estate plan. Here are some laws you need to be aware of in this process.
Durable power of attorney
A power of attorney is one of the essential documents of your estate plan that authorizes a family member, lawyer, spouse, agent or friend to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney differs from the ordinary power of attorney in that it stays in effect until you die or cancel it.
Laws regarding durable power of attorney
Durable power of attorney laws are found in 755 ILCS 45/4-1. It states:
- Every individual in Illinois has the right to appoint someone or an agent to make personal, financial, property and health care decisions on their behalf during periods of disability.
- Every third party, i.e., attending physicians or business partners, must honor your agent’s authority. However, you should note that your agent cannot make a decision that violates your rights or encourages things like suicide or euthanasia.
- You can specify when a power of attorney begins and terminates. You can revoke this document at any time with a written, signed and dated revocation or an oral expression where witnesses are present.
- Your power of attorney cannot make any decisions until the date the document becomes official and takes effect. In addition, they cannot change or violate anything in the document.
In Illinois, you can name any competent adult as your power of attorney. What matters is their trustworthiness and geographical location. You can also name a successor to your first agent if they become unavailable for whatever reason.