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Should I Have a Property Power of Attorney?

A property power of attorney grants another person the authority to make decisions concerning your financial affairs and assets if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. Having a property power of attorney is a good idea for just about anybody with income and personal or real property, as the unexpected can strike at anytime, but it is especially important if you have health problems that could render you unable to handle matters on your own. In the absence of a power of attorney, a judge typically chooses the person who will handle an incapacitated person’s day-to-day affairs. A Hoffman Estates attorney can help you ensure someone you know and trust will manage your affairs if you become unable to do so.

In the event you become physically or mentally incapacitated, a property power of attorney will enable your designated agent to take over some or all of your financial affairs, depending on which powers you choose to grant them. You can give your agent the authority to:

  • Operate your business
  • Make bank deposits
  • Pay bills
  • Endorse checks
  • File tax returns
  • Buy and sell stocks and bonds
  • Handle real estate transactions
  • Buy and sell tangible personal property
  • Manage insurance, retirement and bank accounts
  • Manage safe deposit boxes
  • Manage government benefits
  • Handle litigation matters
  • Change beneficiaries
  • Make gifts
  • Transfer property into a living trust

You may want a very broad power of attorney, or you may decide to grant limited powers to your agent. An experienced Hoffman Estates lawyer can help you make decisions about what powers to grant based on the particulars of your situation.

An attorney can also help you make decisions about whom to designate as your agent and successor agent(s). You will want to choose a person who you feel confident will respect your wishes and who will be able to effectively manage your affairs. You should talk to the person whom you wish to designate as your agent about the power of attorney, so he or she understands how you want your financial affairs managed. You do reserve the right to change your selection.

It is important to remember that a property power of attorney only remains in effect while you are living. When a person passes away, all matters are handled by the executor named in his or her will. For assistance with all aspects of estate planning, contact a qualified Hoffman Estates attorney today.

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