A Power of Attorney form is a type of document that can be used to appoint a person who can be your agent – legally known as an “Attorney-in-fact”, and deal with some kinds of matters for you. In case you become incompetent or are not able to take your own decisions, a power of attorney form can be legally valid and make the appointed person act for you legally. An Illinois power of attorney form can be useful when you get injured or are out of the city etc and need some able person to look after your matters on your behalf. There are quite a few things that your POA form needs to include.
You need to appoint an attorney in fact who is a trustable person, and is aware about what kind of decisions he / she might be taking about investment / finances / medical matters etc for you. The POA should include the full legal name of the person. In case of multiple attorneys-in-fact, which means if you would use the form to appoint more than one individual as your agent, the names of each of them should be mentioned.
You have to include the date and time on which the Power of Attorney Form would come into effect. A Springing Durable Power of Attorney, for instance, can come into effect only when you are incapacitated. It can get activated if there is a possible incapacitation or a similar type of occurrence in your life in the times to come. You can mention the type of event that the POA would get activated, in case you are not sure when that would happen.
Keep in mind that the document needs to be signed by you – the principal as well as the person who you designate as your attorney-in-fact. If you would like to appoint multiple attorneys-in-fact, each of the persons should sign the POA. The details of each of them have to be included. In some states, there is a requirement that the document must be duly notarized, so as to make it legally valid. Unless you get the power of attorney form in Illinois signed, the court would not recognize it, and the document would become purposeless. It is a good idea to find out whether your state demands your POA to be notarized.
Type of powers
You have to specify what kind of matters he / she can deal with for you. Choose your words and terms very carefully, if you would like to let the person deal with just specific financial matters of your own. If the appointed individual lacks character, honesty and integrity, he might misuse the authority that you bestow on him.
If you have doubts and feel that the appointed agent could be a threat for you, using your money, properties etc as he likes, a Limited Power of Attorney form can be an ideal option. Even then, it is a good idea to specify the kind of limited powers that you would grant to the person. Any wrong choice of words or leaving out important terms might help the attorney-in-fact use authority at will, and it will be a long-drawn and probably an impossible task for you to challenge his activities in a court of law.