The power of attorney for property in Illinois is a versatile and powerful document. There are two main functions it serves for our clients at Lauren Jackson Law. Not only is it used in all of our Estate Planning packages, but we also use it for our real estate clients who are selling property.
If I am drafting your estate plan, a power of attorney for property is strongly recommended and will be included. This document lays out specific actions someone else may take on your behalf in the event you are alive but incapacitated. The power only becomes active if your treating physician has determined you no longer have the mental or physical capacity to handle your own financial affairs. In the document, you name an agent of your choosing who will be able to decide and act on your behalf, provided that any action your agent takes with respect to your finances is for your benefit.
A general list of subject matters over which principals may confer general authority are:
- Real property
- Tangible personal property
- Stocks and bonds
- Commodities and options
- Banks and financial institutions
- Operation of entity or business
- Insurance and annuities
- Estates, trusts, and other beneficial interests
- Claims and litigation
- Personal and family maintenance
- Benefits from governmental programs
- Retirement plans
The second main function of a power of attorney for property in my law practice is for my real estate clients who are selling property. Let’s face it; if you are selling a piece of real estate you have a lot going on in your life. You are probably moving or have already moved and may no longer be in the area. However, when you hire me to help you complete the sale of your home, you get to decide when to sign all of the sale documents, and it is at your convenience. I complete all sale the documents before the sale and schedule a time for you to come to one of my offices to pre-sign the paperwork. If that is too inconvenient, I can email documents to you, you can sign them and have them notarized and send the originals back to me, all before the closing so that you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to attend.
In the paperwork will be a power of attorney, naming myself (or my paralegal as a backup) to complete the sale on your behalf. What does that mean? That means you do not have to take off work or come in from out of town to show up to the closing. The document gives me authority to sign the settlement statement and other title company documents on your behalf at the closing. If something does come up at the closing that we have not discussed beforehand, I would contact you from the closing to find out how to proceed and act accordingly.
I do not offer clients who are buying property the use of a power of attorney. Usually, if you are buying property there are financial documents that you must sign (a loan) and I cannot sign those documents on your behalf. Depending on your lender’s internal underwriting rules, you may or may not be able to get an independent third party to sign loan documents for you in the event you are purchasing using financing and cannot attend the closing.
If you want your real estate transaction to be as painless as possible, contact us today.