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


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