To do a POA in Illinois, you must sign the POA in the presence of a notary public and at least one witness. The notary public cannot act as a witness. If you want the power of attorney to be durable (continue even if you don't have capacity later) there are additional requirements. The document must be in writing and signed and dated by you.
The document must also be a witness. You can be witnessed by an attorney who has provided you with legal advice on the document. Alternatively, it can be witnessed by two adults with a capacity. Witnesses cannot be the appointed lawyer or a member of the lawyer's family or yourself.
Witnesses must complete a witness certificate on the form required by legislation. California requires that the signature of the principal of the power of attorney be recognized and registered by a notary or that two witnesses acknowledge receipt. Any witness to the power of attorney document must witness the signature of the document or the notary's acknowledgment of receipt. A notary can notarize the durable power of attorney in addition to signing it in front of at least two witnesses.
Not everyone can act as witnesses. In most situations, your witnesses must be mentally competent and at least 18 years of age. Your state may require that witnesses be “disinterested in their power of attorney,” meaning that your witnesses will not benefit from power of attorney. The two witnesses must be sure that the person signing the power of attorney is capable of executing the document.
When witnesses are required, you should generally sign the document or acknowledge receipt of your signature in the presence of witnesses. For example, if the principal's family member uses someone else's identification to sign as an independent witness, this is an act of fraud. Witnesses cannot be related by blood; children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews cannot act as witnesses to a permanent California power of attorney. The witness should not sign it if he suspects that the director is drugged, has dementia, or is afraid of anyone else.
For example, you can't have an older family friend who may have dementia or someone with a registered mental illness witness to the document. This is to ensure that a valid third party is present to accept that neither party is signing under duress or, in addition, abusing any type of power of attorney. Some powers of attorney give the agent named in the document the power to access your bank account or make financial decisions, such as where to invest the money and what the money can be spent on. Appointing a power of attorney (POA) is an important decision, since the person you nominate will be tasked with managing your financial affairs.
Your agent will act on your behalf with respect to financial or health matters, depending on the powers given to you. In general, there are two categories of POA that are a general power of attorney and a permanent power of attorney. A token can authenticate your power of attorney, adding an additional level of validation that could encourage your financial institution to accept the power of attorney. A permanent power of attorney can now be witnessed by electronic means, such as Skype or Zoom, if certain conditions are met.
Witnesses are there to confirm that the person signing the power of attorney does so freely without undue pressure or threat from family members. There are different requirements to create a power of attorney depending on the type of appointment you make.