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Disability Planning

Property Power of Attorney: A legal document which designates an agent to act on your behalf to manage your assets and financial matters.


Advantages:

  • Permits management of your assets during disability
  • Very flexible, can limit or expand the agent's powers as you deem appropriate.
  • You can give your agent the authority to transfer assets to an already established revocable trust.
  • You can give your agent the power to make gifts to named individuals.

Disadvantages:

  • Under statutory form you cannot appoint co-agents.
  • Not as flexible as a revocable trust during incapacity.
  • Very powerful since agent has access to all of your property

Health Care Power of Attorney: A legal document which designates an agent to act on your behalf to make health care decisions if you are incapacitated. Illinois has a statutory form which most third parties would recognize.


Advantages:

  • Very broad powers granted to an agent, for example, to admit or discharge you to a hospital, nursing home or other institution, to make all decisions regarding medical treatment. You can limit your agent's powers if you desire.
  • The agent can order the withholding of death delaying procedures including hydration (fluids) and nutrition (food).
  • The agent has the authority to deal with your post-death issues including autopsy, anatomical gift and burial.
  • The statutory form contains three alternatives regarding levels of life-sustaining treatment. You initial one of the alternatives which reflect your wishes.

Disadvantages:

  • Under statutory form you cannot designate co-agents.