Highland Powers of Attorney Lawyer
A power of attorney is an important document. Unfortunately, by the time you need one, you may not have the legal right to draft an enforceable one. Powers of attorney must be put in place ahead of time, so that they can work for your benefit in the event that you are unable to care for yourself or your assets in a crisis.
At the Highland, Illinois, office of Donald R. Johannes, Attorney at Law, we draft estate planning documents, including powers of attorney, for our clients. We often tell clients that these documents are the first line of defense against the unforeseen.
Powers of attorney can give trusted individuals power to make medical or financial decisions for a person:
- Powers of attorney for health care — Also called medical directives, these documents appoint people to make decisions about important issues like maintaining life support. They also give hospitals permission to talk with certain loved ones about your care without violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
- Powers of attorney for property — These documents give your trusted loved ones the authority to make financial decisions on your behalf so that they can pay bills, access financial records, sell your house or car, make decisions about your IRA, or file your income taxes.
If you do not have a power of attorney in place and something happens, your loved ones may be forced to pursue other estate planning options such as a guardianship to manage your health care decisions and finances. It is much easier and efficient to obtain a power of attorney ahead of time.