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Powers of Attorney

Estate Planning

Most people are familiar with certain estate planning tools such as wills and trusts. There are, however, many other instruments that can be used in developing a comprehensive estate plan. Some can help you transfer your assets to future generations, while others address concerns that may arise during your lifetime. Powers of attorney fall into the latter category. At Otte & Czajkowska, LLC, our experienced lawyers can help you create strategies for using powers of attorney to protect yourself and your estate.

Understanding Powers of Attorney in Illinois

There are several different types of powers of attorney, each of which is intended to serve a different purpose. A power of attorney, or POA, allows you to appoint someone else—called an "attorney-in-fact" or "agent"—to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you cannot make such decisions for yourself. Illinois law recognizes two basic categories of powers of attorney: power of attorney for property and power of attorney for health care.

A power of attorney for property gives your agent the authority to act in your place in matters of finances, assets, and debts. Your agent can write checks, pay your bills, manage your accounts, and even file your tax returns. He or she has a fiduciary duty to protect your best interests and to keep track of the actions taken to fulfill that duty

By comparison, a power of attorney for health care—sometimes called a "health care proxy"—is empowered to make decisions regarding your health and medical needs. If you decide that a power of attorney for health care is appropriate, you may also wish to draft a living will or other advance medical directives that address your wishes regarding particular medical procedures and possible end-of-life care. Your health care proxy is responsible for ensuring that your wishes are followed.

Trusted Norridge Counsel for Powers of Attorney

The law in Illinois also allows you to select and customize powers of attorney to meet your specific needs. For example, a durable power of attorney allows you to appoint an agent whose authority begins immediately and remains in effect if you were to become incapacitated, while a springing power of attorney will only become effective if you become incapacitated. You can choose to have your power of attorney be general and apply to a wide range of concerns, or it can be limited in scope.

At Otte & Czajkowska, LLC, our team of knowledgeable lawyers can help you decide which powers of attorney are best-suited to meet your needs. We will assist you in drafting the necessary paperwork, as well as selecting an agent who is capable of handling the responsibilities. The person you choose will be responsible for making decisions that serve your best interests, so it is important to appoint an agent you can trust.

Call 773-631-7100 Today

If you have questions about powers of attorney, our team can help you find the answers. Contact our office by calling 773-631-7100 and scheduling a confidential consultation today. We serve clients in Jefferson Park, Elmwood Park, Niles, Harwood Heights, Norridge, Glenview, Des Plaines, and throughout Chicago's northwest side. Our team is also equipped to assist Polish-speaking individuals and families from around Northern Illinois.

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