A Power of Attorney document, including a Power of Attorney for Property, is a legal document which allows a person (the “Principle”) to delegate to another person (the “Agent” or “Attorney-in-Fact”) the power to make decisions regarding assets, finances, and other property, including real estate.
A Power of Attorney for Property allows you to decide in advance who will manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so on your own in the future. Executing a Power of Attorney for Property will spare your family the burden of having to make financial decisions without knowing your wishes.
A Power of Attorney for Property assures that others will honor your agent’s authority and the decision he or she makes on your behalf. You have the ability to limit the authority of your agent or give him or her broad financial control.
A Power of Attorney document should include the powers granted to your agent as well as his or her duties, limitations, and immunity.
In Illinois, any person who is 18 years or older, has the legal capacity to make his or her own decisions, and is a resident of Illinois can execute a Power of Attorney for Property. To be enforceable, the Power of Attorney document must be signed by you in the presence of one witness and notarized.
Who may be designated as an agent?
Any person 18 years of age or older may be designated as an agent in a Power of Attorney for Property document.
It is advisable that the person you designate as your agent is someone you trust. He or she should be someone you believe will comply with the terms you specify and will make decisions in accordance with your interests.
What is the agent’s responsibility?
An agent must act in accordance with the terms you have enumerated in the Power of Attorney for Property document. If an agent does not act with the requisite due care he or she may be found liable for any negligent exercise of power.
It’s always a good idea to designate one or more successor agents in the event that your primary agent is unable to act on your behalf.
When does the Power of Attorney for Property take effect? When does is cease?
You can specify when the Power of Attorney for Property will begin and terminate. If a termination date is not specified, the Power of Attorney for Property document will remain in effect until your death.
Can I amend the Power of Attorney for Property document after it takes effect?
You can make changes to the Power of Attorney for Property document at any time as long as you have the legal capacity to make such a decision. Such an amendment can be made by signing and dating a written document stating the change. The amendment must be signed by you in the presence of two witnesses and notarized.
Will the Power of Attorney for Property be recognized in another state?
A Power of Attorney for Property document will be recognized in another state if it has been executed in accordance with the laws of that state.