Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Illinois

Power of attorney

I have POA for my mother. Can this give me access to her banking information while she is alive? She is not cooporating with revealing her financial affairs. I understand what it does upon death. Does it do anything while she is alive?

Asked on 3/25/09, 5:38 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys


Re: Power of attorney

A POA for property is only effective as long as the principal (your mother) is alive. It becomes ineffective when the principal passes away.

Sometimes the POA will have a statement that it only becomes effective upon a doctor certifying that the principal cannot make decisions for themselves. Sometimes the POA becomes effective when signed, or at a certain date, or upon a certain event happening.

There are POA's for healthcare and POA's for property (and sometimes, a combined document covering both).

So the answer to your question is - maybe. If you have a POA that covers financial affairs (either in broad or specific language) and it became effective immediately, then the POA probably allows you to request information from the bank.

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Answered on 3/25/09, 6:18 pm
George Zuganelis Zuganelis & Zuganelis, Attorneys at Law, P.C.

Re: Power of attorney

A POA can only be active while your mother is alive. Once she dies, so does the POA. You will have to be the executor of her estate after she dies. If she doesn't have a will, the probate judge must appoint you and issue you letters of administration. Understand that she can revoke the POA at any time if she is of sound mind.

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Answered on 3/25/09, 6:38 pm

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