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Estate Planning

Property Powers of Attorney

You aren’t giving up any powers (or restricting yourself) when you sign a property power of attorney.  By signing a property power of attorney, you are giving your “agent” authority to make financial decisions for you (the “agent” is also referred to as your “attorney-in-fact”).  Your agent acts like your financial manager (to make decisions regarding your assets in case you aren’t able to do so because of injury or disease). The power of attorney stops at your death.  Your agent may make decisions regarding the following types of actions.  (If an asset is owned by your trust, revocable living trust or a land trust, if you have one, then it is the trustee/s that have the authority to make decisions regarding such assets – not the agent under the property power of attorney.)  The property power of attorney ends (terminates) at your death. 

1.  selling your real estate (or making other decisions regarding real estate, such as renting your real estate, taking out a mortgage or home equity loan)

2.  making decisions regarding your financial accounts

3.  making decisions regarding your stocks, mutual funds, & bonds

4.  making decisions regarding your personal possessions

5.  being able to access your safe deposit box

6.  making decisions regarding your insurance policies and annuities

7.  making decisions regarding your IRAs, 401k plans, and other retirement plans

8.  making decisions regarding tax matters

9.  making decisions regarding filing a lawsuit, settling a lawsuit, or defending a lawsuit for the principal (“principal” means the person/client who signed the power of attorney)

10.  being able to borrow money on your behalf

**  You can include the power to make gifts of your assets to your loved ones (which could be very valuable, if your assets are high enough in value to cause estate taxes, or if you were to enter a nursing home and reside there for a long period of time). 


Copyright 2008 Ronald Runkle

Law Office of Ronald Runkle & Associates, P.C.
236 Center Street - Grayslake, IL 60030
Tel: (847) 548-5950 Fax: (847) 548-6085