The Duties and Responsibilities Associated with a Power of Attorney

Web Admin - Thursday, October 16, 2014

power of attorney rights and responsibilitiesIllness, injury, or age can often render a person unable to take proper care of their finances and their property. As a solution to this issue, Illinois law allows people to set up a power of attorney for property. This is a legal document that lets a person, the principal, designate a trusted agent to handle the principal's property with the principal's best interests in mind. This document gives the agent a variety of legal powers over the principal's money and property, but it also comes with legal duties that the principal must fulfill. Agents need to be aware of both of these things to properly complete their jobs without bringing liability onto themselves.

The Powers Granted

The powers granted to an agent under a power of attorney vary depending on the principal's wishes, but in 2011 Illinois created a general form with 15 default powers that a principal can bestow upon an agent. These powers include:

-The authority to buy or sell real estate on behalf of the principal;

-The authority to deal with banks and safe deposit boxes for the principal;

-The authority to represent the principal in insurance transactions; and

-The authority to buy and sell stocks and bonds for the principal.

The form also includes extra sections to place limitations on these powers or to add extras. For instance, the principal can allow the agent to buy and sell stocks and bonds, but also forbid them from selling a particular stock. Similarly, the power to give gifts on the principal's behalf is not included in the default form, but a principal could add it if they so chose.

The Duties of the Agent

Importantly, by taking on these powers, the agent enters into a “fiduciary” relationship with the principal, meaning that they have a duty to act in the principal's best interests. In addition to that general duty, the law also imposes other, more specific duties on the agent. For instance, the agent is required to act in accordance with any estate plans that the principal has put in place to the extent possible. Agents also have a duty to keep good financial records of any “receipts, disbursements, and significant actions conducted for the principal.” The law also forbids agents from taking certain actions. These forbidden actions include commingling the principal's funds with their own, taking loans from the principal, and exceeding the authority granted by the power of attorney.

Powers of attorney are complex legal documents, and managing them incorrectly can open the agent up to legal liability. If you are considering a power of attorney, contact an Arlington Heights estate planning attorney serving the northwest suburbs to better understand your duties as well as other potential estate planning options. We assist clients throughout Inverness, Palatine, Schaumburg, Long Grove, Kenilworth, Riverwoods, and the rest of the Chicagoland area.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.

Recent Posts


probate Illinois real estate lawyer murder defense nursing home negligence meal breaks estate plan Illinois employment law firm residential real estate Schaumburg personal injury attorney Fourth of July Retaliatory Discharge premises liability Des Plaines real estate lawyer insurance disputes Rolling Meadows real estate attorney car crashes Illinois insurance claims lawyers trench injuries Long Grove real estate lawyer drugs fatal car accidents BAIID preventable medical errors medical malpractice compensation federal regulations for LLCs estate planning bicycle dooring accidents personal injury law firm pedestrian accident investment property fiduciary rule delay Illinois elder law attorney Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Barrington criminal lawyer digital assets Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Inverness real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Class A misdemeanor Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Illinois business lawyer Des Plaines criminal attorney Palatine corporate law attorneys Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Palatine insurance lawyer Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Arlington Heights trucking lawyer subcontractor rollover car crashes medical malpractice car collision landlord Schaumburg estate attorney Illinois mortgages bicycle accidents elder law car crash Arlington Heights TBI attorney bad faith insurance claims income distribution deducation estate planning attorney employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, LLCs privacy involuntary manslaughter Home Remodeling Repair Act Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois real estate Barrington personal injury attorney Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney preventing accidents consent to a search breathalyzer test Schaumburg Attorney Des Plaines personal injury attorney criminal law insurance denial appeals pain and suffering gift taxes compensatory time condo association healthcare claims dram shop law Kenilworth estate planning attorneys drug crimes Palatine real estate lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys texting and driving traffic violations Illinois employment laws Schaumburg employment attorney beneficiary complications Deer Park real estate law firm Palatine estate planning lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyer Des Plaines insurance attorney Palatine personal injury lawyer job lawyers commercial real estate Landlord Tenant Ordinance special needs trust Illinois insurance attorney first degree murder Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer appealing an insurance claim real estate zoning murder deadly crashes Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers rest breaks Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm probate fees internet insurance claim denial South Barrington real estate lawyer dealing with problem employees personal injury claim FMLA jet ski attorney fees trucking accident lawyers products liability Barrington criminal defense lawyer Colin Gilbert employee misclassification Detainer Actions Schaumburg injury lawyer Chicago lawyer insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys financial advisors Illinois employment law attorneys Barrington drug crime attorney Des Plaines real estate attorney Policy Cancellation life insurance lawyer crossover accidents employment contract Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Des Plaines personal injury lawyer speeding irrevocable trust social media after death Affordable Care Act Illinois Smoke Detector Act Chicago attorney Arlington Heights employment attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys mortgage insurance claims employees Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer icy parking lots estate planning trusts Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Illinois traffic laws Illinois driving without license blended families civil litigation sole proprietorship traffic accidents Illinois employment law attorney Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Illinois Probate Act of 1975 trust payments DUI Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Palatine life insurance lawyer employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys Crystal Lake will lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys Illinois insurance lawyer Super Mario workers comp Illinois rollover accident lawyers Crystal Lake traffic attorney civil litigation attorney Transfer on Death Instrument Chicago estate planning contracts Rolling Meadows tax attorney Mt Prospect Attorney Illinois corporate lawyer right to work Barrington employment law firm estate planning for college students Illinois registered agent field sobriety test caregiver expungement Illinois living will Inverness DUI lawyer startup company Rolling Meadows business lawyer Buffalo Grove corporate attorney coronavirus controlled substance fiduciary rule IRELA manufacturing Buffalo Grove probate lawyer insurance claim delay independent contractor creditors comparative negligence unauthorized overtime Arlington Heights estate planning attorney civil rights violation real estate attorneys Illinois traffic attorneys Des Plaines pet law attorney construction accidents Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act workplace sexual harassment cell phone defective products lawyer denial of life insurance car accident condo DNR Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Rolling Meadows gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Illinois car accident attorney Inverness estate planning lawyer Palatine traffic accidents sexual images life insurance Legal Info BAC real estate contract taxes Barrington workers compensation attorney natural gas insurance agents Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer POA Barrington litigation attorney Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer holiday statistics Crystal Lake employment lawyer Whistleblower Claims Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Palatine employment lawyer Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows Attorney wills Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney spinal cord injuries accidental death benefits Crystal Lake tax lawyer Chicago life insurance attorney insurance claim wills and trusts privacy laws DGAA paid sick leave Palatine corporate attorney power of attorney changes to mortgage law traffic crimes Deer Park criminal attorney Illinois estate planning attorney construction contracts unfunded trust Barrington real estate lawyer digital evidence real estate leasing Illinois personal injury insurance denials Palatine elder law attorney living wills Inverness real estate attorney material misrepresentation Des Plaines DUI attorney construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation senior citizens sexual harassment Kenilworth estate planning attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys guardianship attorney homestead rights Deer Park personal injury lawyer employment attorney Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer estate tax Deer Park traffic lawyer Palatine construction attorney Palatine probate lawyer truck collisions traffic offenses Illinois lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer Illinois construction accident attorney traffic laws foreclosure employee rights federal crimes criminal Illinois estate planning law firm Illinois LLC creation Illinois probate lawyer Crystal Lake business law attorneys boating DUI uninsured motorist Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyers Do Not Resuscitate Palatine Attorney dog bites Palatine employment attorney estate attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney personal injury attorney college kids Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Chicago employment attorney probate lawyer Inverness corporate attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer revenge porn Illinois traffic accident lawyer how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims Barrington estate planning attorney no contest clauses Illinois medical malpractice case medical marijuana Self-Directed IRA Accounts real estate attorney digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Des Plaines collections attorney hiring employees Inverness injury lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer new real estate form Illinois attorney personal injury accidents tax attorney whistleblower protections distracted driving accident victims School Visitation Rights Act insurance dispute Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer insurance claim dispute attorney Barrington injury attorney business litigation elder abuse license reinstatement forming a corporation in Illinois Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Illinois employee rights attorney. Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Illinois Sales Representative Act cell phone tower data comp time Chicago trucking accident attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer BUI insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys golf accidents power of attorney for healthcare probate process Palatine employment law lawyer Schaumburg life insurance attorney owner responsibility Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer brain injury Inverness probate lawyer Crystal Lake accident attorney breach of contract work unions DMV medical malpractice claims employment law Crystal Lake law firm minimum wage Illinois wills and trusts real estate Long Grove estate planning DUI attorney swimming pools Buffalo Grove law firm Illinois Trust Code cause-of-death exclusions car accident lawyer digital information TBI Long Grove estate planning attorneys operating agreements rollover accidents rumble strips Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer license revocation Illinois job attorney traffic deaths Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Thanksgiving insurance dispute attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney IRA trust transfer Chicago estate planning lawyer Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Palatine trusts lawyer anesthesia errors most common reasons for life insurance claim denials Home Sale Contingencies Illinois collections attorney medical research Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Employment Discrimination Law mass shooting Deer Park traffic accident attorney Buffalo Grove employment lawyer insufficient documentation probate claims process life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim loss of consortium driving Arlington Heights accident attorney real estate lawyer personal injury claims Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers pay when paid contract traffic violations defense insurance claim dispute Palatine civil attorney pet law Long Grove real estate attorney underinsured motorist Palatine drug lawyer Arlington Heights insurance attorney Des Plaines injury law firm Attorney Ken Apicella Illinois trusts attorney top life insurance claim denials motorcycle accident estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Schaumburg criminal law attorney Exclusions jet ski accidents Des Plaines civil attorney Schaumburg drug defense lawyer drunk driving Illinois employment law Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Illinois Illinois personal injury attorney Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer commercial leasing Schaumburg insurance lawyers employment lawyer blood alcohol content Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Des Plaines accident attorney Schaumburg criminal attorney unpaid overtime insurance claim denials severance agreements texting while driving PTSD criminal defense Arlington Heights Attorney Illinois workers compensation attorney loopholes boating accidents Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Des Plaines drug lawyer Illinois law drunk driving statistics defective products employee discrimination reckless homicide Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney fault based insurance Schaumburg construction accident lawyer llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Illinois injury lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer Palatine law firm Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Illinois tax attorney health insurance dispute IRA benefits filing a medical malpractice claim traumatic brain injury Chicago car accident lawyer Arlington Heights traffic attorney criminal record Illinois workplace lawyer overtime pay workers compensation Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Illinois civil litigation lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney installment contracts spinal cord injury Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney estate planning lawyer distracted driving accidents personal injury traumatic brain injuries marijuana Buffalo Grove traffic attorney ken apicella Schaumburg traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys agent unpaid assessment cell phone accidents overtime violations Illinois traffic attorney Liquor Control Act slip and fall landlord tenant law Illinois personal injury lawyers Joliet general practice lawyers Schaumburg elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney wage theft ObamaCare Crystal Lake employment attorney medication errors Illinois boating accident lawyer small business Arlington Heights injury attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Crystal Lake employment law attorney advance healthcare directive Inverness elder law lawyer Illinois employment lawyer Mount Prospect elder law attorney lapse in policy Jay Andrew Rolling Meadows insurance attorney home inspection lawyer DUI penalities deed transfer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Illinois estate planning Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Barrington civil litigation attorney denial of insurance claim underage DUI Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney FSLA Schaumburg civil litigation attorney natural gas explosion Illinois medical malpractice attorney healthcare Fair Labor Standards Act Barrington business law firm rent to own real estate contracts Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Illinois criminal defense attorney denied insurance claim Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers Forcible Entry Schaumburg wrongful death attorney liens Chicago insurance law firm Arlington Heights lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Illinois speeding lawyer Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney Illinois red light cameras traffic tickets South Barrington real estate attorney car accident lawyers car accidents Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Barrington estate planning lawyer surgical mistakes life insurance claims in terrorem provision Arlington Heights tax lawyer Palatine punch death Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Deer Park employment law attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Barrington medical malpractice lawyers pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Illinois defective products attorney living trust vs will Chicago employment lawyer Chicago will attorney estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Barrington life insurance lawyer marijuana crimes attorney insurance agent negligence Crystal Lake injury attorney Chicago insurance claim attorneys living trust auto accidents Illinois bicycle safety insurance adjusters Illinois business law atorneys workers compensation benefits back injuries CAM liability Palatine injury attorney liability claims pet bites Chicago corporate attorney Schaumburg car accident attorney Palatine business attorney drug possession insurance attorney suspended license capital gains tax Deer Park DUI lawyer Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Illinois employment attorneys Long Grove estate planning attorney license suspension Chicago biking tips Deer Park accident attorney corporate law personal injury lawyer pregnant women boating under the influence wrongful death life insurance policy trusts Palatine civil litigation lawyer denied insurance claims Inverness traffic law firm Schaumburg probate attorney Illinois trucking safety Barrington employment attorney pedestrian-automobile accident GM ignition switches Barrington attorney Colin H. Gilbert child safety Rolling Meadows employment attorney Illinois will lawyer murder charges Crystal Lake pet attorney automated cars Illinois workers compensation lawyer clemency car crash injuries Deer Park workers compensation lawyer Illinois wills and trusts attorneys insurance negligence Palatine criminal defense lawyer Illinois DUI attorney Des Plaines real estate closing dynasty trusts vacation home slip and fall accidents Rolling Meadows traffic attorney caretaker rights Schaumburg estate planning attorney Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Schaumburg Illinois pet lawyer pizza emoji drug crimes lawyer Crystal Lake car accident attorney commercial leases living trust benefits license trauma after an accident wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace food poisoning disability benefits pedestrian accidents underfunded trust Crystal Lake car accident lawyer Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Des Plaines tax law firm hit and run accident trustee Family Medical Leave Act Illinois wrongful termination lawyer DUI defense Barrington employment law attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer low-ball insurance settlement Palatine traffic lawyer vacation home fines eluding a police officer ACA Barrington boating accident attorney Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer bike accident Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyers hands free device probate claims product liability medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Palatine workers compensation lawyer Illinois jet ski accident lawyer foreclosed rental property trucking accidents modern family estate planning employment law, Illinois employment laws Inverness insurance attorney wrongful termination Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Des Plaines claims law firm digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Illinois small business Inverness civil lawyer Illinois Human Rights Act problem employees Inverness accident lawyer institutional trustee head on collisions Schaumburg corporate attorney IRS Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Barrington Traffic Lawyer Illinois insurance disputes Illinois traffic ticket lawyer drug crime Illinois home inspection Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer,