There are two types of powers of attorney in Illinois:
When you give someone power of attorney, you are not giving up the right to manage your own affairs. What you are doing is saying that, if a situation arises when you cannot manage your affairs, this is the person you want to help. It is the person of your choosing, not someone who would otherwise be appointed by statute or the court
Powers of attorney are critical documents, and they have become even more important since organizations started implementing the privacy provisions of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Today, not even family members can obtain financial or health care information for you or about you without your prior authorization. A power of attorney grants that authorization.
At the Law Office of Daniel Parsons, we advise our clients regarding powers of attorney and why agent selection is so important.
When you execute an Illinois power of attorney for property, you are granting broad authority to the person you name as your agent. However, these documents are subject to abuse. Therefore, you should select someone you trust to act in your best interest and not their own.
You should select someone who manages their own finances well. However, the most important criterion is to pick someone you trust without a doubt.
When executing a power of attorney for health care, you should select someone who understands how you feel about end-of-life issues. If you do not want your life to be prolonged artificially in the event of a terminal condition, it would be a good idea to find someone who shares your philosophy. You also need an advocate – someone who can stand up to authority, because medical professionals will not always be in agreement.
Your power of attorney for health care works in conjunction with your living will, which is a statement advising your medical provider what your wishes are with regard to medical treatment in an end-of-life situation.