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What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

Going through or watching someone go through a decline in mental faculties can be an incredibly difficult process, but it is often a natural part of aging. Entering this phase of life without having a plan in place can make it even more frightening. For this reason, the Chicago attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC, recommend that individuals that are beginning to experience a decline in mental faculties seek out an attorney to help make a plan for the future. Among the most common issues our attorneys are asked to help with is the creation of a durable power of attorney. These documents serve to clearly appoint specific individuals who will be allowed to act on your behalf in regards to your healthcare and finances should you ever become unable to do so yourself.

Two Types of Power of Attorney

A general power of attorney, also known as non-durable, is different from a durable power of attorney in that it will automatically expire when you become mentally or physically incapacitated. A non-durable generally appoints an agent to act as the principal’s legal representative when the principal is unable to be present. In order to ensure that you are well taken care of even after you have lost mental faculties, you need to ensure that your powers of attorney are durable. There are two types of durable power of attorneys to be aware of:

  • Medical Power of Attorney: allows you to appoint an agent who will be ultimately responsible for making all decisions related to your health and well-being.
  • Financial Power of Attorney: appoints an agent who will be responsible for handling your finances. He or she will be able to pay your bills, manage your Social Security checks, file taxes on your behalf, etc.

Agents appointed in durable powers of attorney do not need to be attorneys. In fact, family members such as children are more commonly named in durable powers of attorney. However, creating legally sound documents that protect your interests and the power of attorney rights can be difficult without the help of a qualified attorney.

Contact a Chicago Estate Planning Attorney

If you want peace of mind as you enter your coming years, call the Chicago attorneys of Peck Ritchey, LLC, at (855) 328-5787. Let us help you work out the details of your estate so that you can enjoy your life without worrying about what you’ll leave behind.