Why Everyone Over Age 18 Should Have a Power of Attorney

Web Admin - Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Barrington power of attorney lawyerA power of attorney is one of the most basic, and yet most important, legal protections that every adult should have. A power of attorney (POA) is a legal document that gives another person the authority to act in your place when you cannot be physically present yourself or if you become incapacitated. There are two types of POA, for property and for healthcare. A power of attorney for property authorizes a designated person to handle your financial affairs, while a power of attorney for healthcare empowers your named representative to make medical decisions on your behalf. 

When Is the Right Time to Create a Power of Attorney?

Imagine that you are struck tomorrow by a catastrophic accident or sudden incapacitating illness. If you are married, your spouse should have access to your financial resources to pay for your medical care and the right to make medical decisions on your behalf. But consider what would happen if you are not married or if your spouse is incapacitated at the same time you are. Do you think your immediate family members would agree on who should take charge of your financial affairs and make medical decisions for you? Having a POA in place will head off disputes that could cause long-term rifts in a family.

Young adults often assume that their parents will be able to step in and handle everything in such an event. However, once you turn 18, your parents do not necessarily have the legal authority to access your medical records and bank accounts and to make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf. 

Similarly, adults with aging parents may assume they can step in at any time and take over their parents’ affairs. However, why leave it to chance? Do you really want siblings fighting over who is going to take charge? Instead, encourage your aging relatives to sign powers of attorney while they are still competent to make that choice. The POA can be a first step toward creating a comprehensive will and estate plan.

What Does a Power of Attorney for Property Do?

You can create a very limited power of attorney document for a specific situation, such as authorizing your lawyer to handle a real estate closing for you when you cannot be present in person. More commonly, the purpose is much broader. A power of attorney document will specify a list of decisions that your designated representative can make on your behalf, such as selling your home; trading stocks, bonds, and other investments; collecting Social Security and other retirement benefits on your behalf; paying bills from your checking account; managing a trust account; and filing your tax returns.

What Does a Power of Attorney for Healthcare Do?

When you prepare a POA for healthcare, you can specify the powers that your designated representative will have and when those powers will take effect. The medical topics covered in a healthcare POA may include:

- Whether your POA will have full access to your medical records.

- Whether you want extraordinary measures taken to keep you alive as long as possible or instead wish to prioritize quality of life over length of life.

- In what type of circumstances you want life-sustaining treatment to be administered or withheld, or whether you would only like pain-relieving medication to be administered.

- Whether you want to be an organ donor upon your death.

- How you want your mortal remains handled upon your death, e.g., burial or cremation.

Consult a Schaumburg Power of Attorney Lawyer

An attorney can serve as a neutral third party when you need to convince an elderly relative to sign powers of attorney while they are still competent, particularly if you are assisting them with moving out of their home and into some type of assisted living facility. If you need a POA for yourself but are not sure what powers you want to grant your designated representative and when you want those powers to take effect, an experienced Palatine estate planning attorney can explain your options. Call Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC at 847-934-6000 to set up a free initial consultation.

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


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