Matthew S. Payne is a Chicago-based attorney with a 20-year record of success in civil litigation, real estate law and estate planning.

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Powers of attorney

On Behalf of | Aug 23, 2022 | Estate Planning

Residents of Illinois should make estate planning one of their biggest priorities for the future. Preparing a power of attorney is an important aspect of doing that. There are certain characteristics to look for when choosing an agent.

The importance of having a power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that lets you name someone who serves as an agent to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This person can handle your financial affairs or medical and health-related affairs.

There are durable and non-durable powers of attorney. Each can be tailored to allow your agent only one action to perform or grant them the authority to perform many actions.

Traits to look for when choosing your agent

The person you choose should always be someone who is trustworthy to handle your affairs. They should be fair-minded, take important life decisions seriously and have the maturity necessary to handle making major decisions on your behalf.

Usually, a person selects a family member or close friend as their agent. The person you choose should fully understand and respect your wishes and values and demonstrate fierce loyalty to you. It should also be someone who lives near you to ensure that your needs can be handled close to your home.

Anyone dealing with estate planning documents should have a strong, assertive character as well. They should be able to tackle any situation while remaining strong and clearly but firmly communicate.

Even when choosing a close family member such as a child to serve, you might want to ensure that you ask someone who shares the same values as you. Medical and end-of-life matters can be difficult for some loved ones.

When you choose the right person, it gives much-needed peace of mind.