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Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Power of Attorney

No one wants to think about the possibility that they will ever become incapacitated. Unfortunately, these things do happen and it is best to plan for the worst. A big part of the estate planning process is Identifying the people who are going to represent you when you are not able to represent yourself. You are able to grant others the authority to act on your behalf by putting a power of attorney in place. These are the people who will be handling your financial decisions and your medical decisions should you become incapacitated. Be extremely thoughtful when selecting these individuals and make sure you always have a back up in case they cannot serve you in this capacity.

The Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen prides itself on developing holistic estate plans that address all of your potential future circumstances, incapacity being one of them. Attorney Thomas Hansen is here to guide you through the estate planning process and develop a plan that you are comfortable with and one that will provide you and your loved ones with the comfort of a secure future.

What Will Happen Should You Become Incapacitated?

A power of attorney gives you, the “principal,” the ability to grant authority to someone else, the “agent.” If a power of attorney is durable, it will stay enforceable even if the principal were to become incapacitated. This is a powerful legal tool that can allow you to enable another person to act on your behalf should you ever be unable to do so yourself. The thought of incapacitation is scary, but it needs to be planned for if you want to ensure your wishes are always carried out. Putting a power of attorney in place can give you and your family peace of mind.

A power of attorney must be put in place before you are incapacitated. Who you will grant a power of authority to is a serious decision. This person will effectively have a blank check and he or she will be able to do things to you that can financially ruin you. A general power of attorney grants the agent far-reaching authority as they can exercise any legal power that you yourself would have under normal circumstances. A limited power of attorney will give the agent a more defined amount of authority and will enable them to perform a specific action on your behalf. The act can be limited to something like attending a real estate closing or something a bit broader like managing your financing.

A medical power of attorney will grant the agent authority to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Choose someone you really trust and someone that understands your wishes for your healthcare needs. Selecting someone that knows your health care preferences will help ensure that your wishes will still be enforced even when you are not able to make these decisions on your own.

Unlike a power of attorney, a guardianship is established when you have already become incapacitated and it is crisis mode. There are assets that need signatures, health care decisions that need to be made, and other needs that need to be met. A guardianship is set up through the court system which means there will, of course, be logistical challenges. There are rules and guidelines that the guardian must follow. For example, the guardian must make regular reports to the court. Once a court finds you incapacitated, a guardian selection process occurs. You, as the incapacitated person, have the right to an attorney and the court will select one for you or you can select your own attorney. If you or someone you love is going through a guardianship proceeding or has been appointed as a guardian, seek legal counsel right away. The rights and responsibilities of a guardian and the ward are detailed and failure to comply with legal requirements can land you in trouble.

Protecting Your Best Interests, No Matter What Life Throws Your Way

No matter how cautious we are in our everyday lives, tragedy can strike. Incapacitation is something we never think or like to think will occur, but it does happen. If you were ever to become incapacitated, your family would most certainly be in the midst of an emotionally overwhelming and stressful time. Help ease their pain by putting a power of attorney in place that explains your wishes and how they should be carried out. Eliminate the guesswork so your family can focus on being there for you and each other. At the Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen, we can provide you and your loved ones with all of the legal tools you need to plan for things like incapacitation. Attorney Thomas J. Hansen will meet you anywhere; whether it be your home, a hospital, a nursing home, or wherever is most convenient for you. Don’t wait until it is too late. Contact the Law Office of Thomas J. Hansen today.

Thomas J. Hansen, LTD. assists clients in Park Ridge, Cook County, IL as well as Niles, Des Plaines, Glenview, Norridge, and Rosemont.

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