An agent, in the context of a Power of Attorney document, is a person authorized by another to act for him. The principal (the person giving the power) and the agent must be adults who are both mentally competent when the Power of Attorney document is signed.
It used to be that if the principal became disabled, the Power of Attorney document became invalid. Today, Illinois has adopted The Uniform Statutory Power of Attorney Act which allows a Power of Attorney document to contain the words “this power of attorney shall not be affected by the subsequent disability of the principal”. This language allows the Power of Attorney document to continue to be valid and used despite the disability of the principal. It is commonly referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney.
By using this durable provision, an individual has the ability to select in advance who serves as his agent after he becomes disabled. When a Power of Attorney for Property and a Power of Attorney for Health Care have been put in place, there is no need for a guardianship through the Court. The Agents under the Powers of Attorney have the legal ability to handle all affairs of the disabled individual.