How to Get Power of Attorney in Illinois

By Bryan Driscoll, J.D.

How to Get Power of Attorney in Illinois

By Bryan Driscoll, J.D.

Creating a power of attorney in Illinois grants decision making authority to someone you trust. We call this person your agent. You can create a POA by following the steps outlined below.

Hand stamping a document entitled "Power of Attorney"

When you create this document, understand why you're doing so. If you expect needing assistance in making decisions based on mental incapacity or an upcoming medical procedure, those are good reasons to be proactive and create this type of legal document.

1. Have a Discussion

It's important that you speak with your designated agent beforehand. Not only does this require great trust on your part, but your agent must also understand the responsibilities they will have as your attorney-in-fact.

If you anticipate your agent making medical decisions on your behalf, you need to discuss with them different scenarios and make sure they understand what you want. Therefore, it's so important to have a discussion with your agent before creating the power of attorney.

2. Create the Power of Attorney

Once you've had the discussion with your agent and they are comfortable taking on those responsibilities, it's time to create the document. In Illinois, there are two types of powers of attorney: property and health care. It's important that you understand what your needs are so you can choose the right form.

Use a health care POA when you are undergoing a medical procedure where you might be unable to make decisions for yourself. In that case, you want to appoint someone who understands what you want and can act on your behalf. A POA for property is useful when you want your agent to handle your finances or manage or sell your real estate.

3. Execute the Document

Each state has its own guidelines for proper execution. In Illinois, you must sign the document in the presence of two witnesses and a notary. When choosing these people, keep in mind that your agent cannot be a witness or the notary. If you do not sign the document under Illinois law, it won't be official. This means your agent may not be able to act on your behalf.

4. Make Copies

In Illinois, you do not have to file your document with the court. However, it's a good idea to make copies of it while keeping the original in a safe location.

Keep one copy for yourself. Provide several copies to your agent. If you have a health care power of attorney, the doctor or medical office may require a copy on file so they can deal directly with your agent. If you executed a property POA, the banks or other institutions may also require a copy on file. In addition, many banks will require your agent to complete their own form they will keep on file along with your POA documentation.

Whether your power of attorney is for health care or property purposes, making sure you create the document according to Illinois law is important. Your agent must be able to act on your behalf, and if the document isn't created following these steps here, your agent could have trouble helping you.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.