Powers Of Attorney Help You Plan For The Unexpected
Many people mistakenly think that estate planning is all about putting your wishes in place for what happens with your assets following your death. However, there are key components of an estate plan that address issues that may arise while you are alive. Among the most important of these is the designation of an agent who will make decisions for you regarding health care and financial matters should you become incapacitated and unable to do so.
These documents are known as powers of attorney. Illinois law allows for the establishment of powers of attorney for health care and for property. At Bruckert, Behme & Long, P.C., we establish the power of attorney documents for our clients as part of the development of a comprehensive estate plan.
Many individuals make their wishes clear regarding health care decisions or financial decisions that should be made on their behalf through advance directives. A living will states your preference regarding the use of life-sustaining steps if you are unable to communicate your wishes.
Understanding Power Of Attorney
You can designate different people for the two types of power of attorney. You should know that they may have to work together to make sure that your wishes in both areas do not contradict each other. It is important to select an agent or agents who will keep your best interests at heart.
A health care power of attorney may be asked to make decisions such as whether to place you in assisted care if you cannot make that decision on your own, or whether to keep you alive by using life-sustaining medical equipment.
A property power of attorney may need to make financial decisions on your behalf regarding daily expenses, tax issues, the purchase or sale of property, investments or other financial matters. For this reason, it is wise to select an agent who is somewhat familiar with handling financial matters.
Do You Need To Review Existing Power Of Attorney Documents?
Your power of attorney documents remain in effect for a specified period or until you state otherwise. Like other estate planning documents, it is important to review these periodically to make sure they still meet your wishes.
Call 618-588-3020 to reach us. We welcome the opportunity to answer your questions regarding powers of attorney and any other estate planning matters. Our lawyers work with clients throughout southwest Illinois from our offices in O’Fallon and New Baden. Contact our firm today.