In this Elder Law Minute, Kaye DeSelms Dent explains how there’s a lot more to POA for property than people realize.
Hi, I’m Kaye DeSelms Dent with Dent Coulson Elder Law, here with an Elder Law Minute for you. These videos are intended to educate you about the elder care journey, which begins earlier in life than you might think. We hope that you find them useful, and if you have further questions, please call us at Dent Coulson Elder Law.
Today I want to remind you that not all powers of attorney are created equal. A power of attorney for property is specifically what I want to discuss today. You have to remember, there’s not just one form out there floating around on the internet that you can get to take care of everything. In fact, I’d urge you not to pull a form off the internet, because the chances of you actually getting what you need in that form, and the chances of you executing it properly, are pretty slim. Rarely do I see those self-help projects, even for that basic document, go as people intend.
The power of attorney for property, in Illinois in particular, has two basic formats; categories, if you will. You can have the statutory short form, which is the most basic, or you can have non-statutory, which is, kind of, whatever you want to put in it. I don’t recommend using the statutory short form, in and of itself, because it doesn’t include a lot of important powers. Specifically, it doesn’t let your agent give away your property. So, if you become disabled and you were planning to pay for a child’s wedding, or a grandchild’s college, or you tie that church, or otherwise give to charity, that may have to stop if your agent doesn’t have special permission to do those things. And that’s probably not what you want, as long as you still have the money, you probably still want to be generous even if you can’t personally do it yourself.
Additionally, if your estate plan needs to be tweaked a little by changing life insurance, or other beneficiaries, your agent can’t do that without special permission. This can be very important to nursing home planning, and even, sometimes, to estate planning in general if your spouse, or other loved one, becomes disabled and we no longer want them to directly get the proceeds of life insurance, or other assets, because it would negatively affect their government benefits.
So, there’s a lot more to powers of attorney than people usually think, especially with the power of attorney for property. To get the full story on powers of attorney for property, and to make sure that you have the right document in place, properly executed, call us here at Dent Coulson Elder Law. We’d be happy to help.
Also looking for information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation? Visit these articles:
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.