A durable power of attorney (POA) in Illinois allows someone you trust to handle your money if you can’t.
You can create this document to give them specific powers to help you with these tasks.
Learn how to obtain a financial power of attorney in Illinois with our comprehensive guide.
Understand the legal steps and requirements to empower a trusted individual to manage your finances in case of incapacity.
What Kinds of Powers of Attorney Can You Get in Illinois?
In Illinois, you can create different types of powers of attorney (POAs).
Two common ones are:
- Financial POA (also called a “POA for property”): This lets someone manage your money and business matters.
- Health care POA (called a “durable power of attorney for health care” in Illinois): This allows someone to make medical decisions for you. Both of these POAs stay effective even if you can’t make decisions. It’s a good idea for most people to have these documents to plan for unexpected situations.
What Legal Rules Must a Financial Power of Attorney (POA) Follow in Illinois?
To make sure your power of attorney (POA) is valid in Illinois, it needs to meet some rules:
- Mental Capacity: The person making the POA must be of sound mind, but exactly how much is needed can vary. If you’re not sure, ask a lawyer.
- Witnessing and Notarization: You need to sign the POA in front of a notary public and at least one witness. The notary public can’t be your witness. You can use video technology for this.
- Restrictions on Witnesses and Notaries: Certain people can’t be your witness or notary, like your doctor, their relatives, owners or operators of healthcare places where you’re staying, or certain relatives of you or your agents.
- Unbiased Witnesses: These rules make sure your witnesses don’t have any secret reasons for helping you.
- Statutory Language: Illinois needs specific words and warnings in the POA. If you use the right form or software, it should include these automatically.
How to Create a Financial Power of Attorney in Illinois
- Make the POA: Use a form provided by Illinois, a software program, or get help from a lawyer. Decide what powers you want to give your agent and cross out any you don’t want to give.
- Sign the POA: Get the POA notarized and have it witnessed by at least one person who meets the requirements.
- Keep the Original Safe: Store the original POA in a safe place that your family can find. Tell them where it is.
- Give a Copy to Your Agent: Give a copy of the POA to your agent so they know what they can do.
- File a Copy With the Recorder of Deeds: If your agent can handle real estate, file a copy of the POA in the land records office where you own property.
- Consider Giving Copies to Banks: Give copies of your durable financial POA to banks or other places your agent might need to use it.
Who Can Be Appointed as an Agent (Attorney-in-Fact) in Illinois?
Legally, you can choose any capable adult to be your agent.
Think about how much you trust them and where they live.
Illinois lets you have co-agents, but it’s usually better to have just one to avoid problems.
It’s a good idea to have a backup agent in case your first choice can’t help you.
When Does My Durable Financial Power of Attorney (POA) Become Effective?
In Illinois, your POA will say when it starts working.
It usually starts as soon as you sign it, get it notarized, and have a witness.
You can make it start only after something specific happens, like a doctor saying you can’t make decisions, but this is usually not a good idea.
When Does My Financial Power of Attorney (POA) Expire?
Your power of attorney ends when you die.
A durable one also ends if you cancel it, no one is available to be your agent, a court says it’s not valid, or if your spouse is your agent and you get divorced in Illinois.