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Monday, October 15, 2012

Picking Agents For Your Powers of Attorney

In Illinois, many estate planners use the Statutory Short Form Powers of Attorney for Property and for Health Care. This is usually a wise choice, as the forms are easily recognizable by financial institutions (for the Property POAs) and health care providers (for the Health Care POAs).

A request that I frequently receive is to have multiple persons act as co-agents under a power of attorney. The form does not allow for co-agents, and with good reason.

One of the major reasons to have a power of attorney is to appoint an individual to be your decision maker if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Appointing co-agents would complicate matters, particularly if the co-agents cannot agree. This may render your power of attorney form useless.

There is no problem with naming successor agent(s), but only one may serve at a time. Also, there is no problem having different agents under your Property POA and Health Care POA. If you are married, you do not have to list the same agents as your spouse.

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