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Power of Attorney for Property

Chicago Power of Attorney Lawyer

Power of Attorney for Health Care

What Is A Power of Attorney for Property (POAP)?

The Durable Power of Attorney for Property is relatively simple. It allows you to select a trusted agent to handle your financial transactions during any period of your disability or incompetence without the necessity of anyone petitioning the probate court for formal guardianship of your estate.

Durable Powers of Attorney for Property are durable because they survive your subsequent incapacity, as opposed to regular powers of attorney, like one you would give to someone to sign your name at a house closing that you are unable to attend. The authority given in a regular power of attorney is automatically terminated upon incapacity.

The purpose of a Durable Power of Attorney for Property is to survive your incapacity and allow your agent (a.k.a proxy) to sign your name to business transactions, such as paying your bills, without the need for a court order. Your Durable Power of Attorney for Property can become effective immediately; or, in many cases, it is a springing power that only goes into effect at some later time. One example of a springing power: "This Power of Attorney shall become effective when a majority of my wife and adult children certify in writing along with my attending physician who has personally examined me, that in their judgment I am unable properly to manage my financial affairs due to mental or physical disabilities." For any power of attorney to be official, whether or not it is durable, you must sign it while you are competent. In most jurisdictions, it must also be notarized, which means that a notary must be present to attest to your signature as the principal. In Illinois an independent witness must also attest to your signature.

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Durable Power of Attorney vs. Nondurable Power of Attorney?

Differences between a Durable Power of Attorney for Property and a nondurable power of attorney (whether general or limited):

Durable Power of Attorney

Nondurable Power of Attorney

(Limited or General)

Its purpose is to allow a person to act on your behalf with respect to financial transactions if you become incapacitated.

Its purpose is to allow a person to act on your behalf with respect to some specific financial transaction or series of transactions.

Survives subsequent incapacity.

Ends if you become incapacitated.

Acts with respect to a wide range of transactions under any parameters you've set.

Relates only to a specific transaction or series of transactions.

Effective either when it's signed or it springs into action at some future date or triggering event, such as when selected parties determine you are unable to conduct business transactions.

Usually limited for a set period of time and until a specific transaction is completed, or is ongoing based upon various business factors.

Ends at any time you dictate, usually when you regain your ability to conduct business transactions.

Ends at any time you dictate, usually when a specific transaction is completed or a business relationship changes.