Proper Execution of a Healthcare Power of Attorney

Pursuant to Illinois law the principal (the person granting the power of attorney) must sign the healthcare power of attorney document. The agent (also known as the attorney-in-fact or the surrogate decision-maker) typically does not need to sign the document for it to be valid.

However, the agent’s acceptance of the role is often required for the document to become effective. This means that the agent needs to be willing to take on the responsibilities of making healthcare decisions on behalf of the principal if the need arises. While the agent’s acceptance may not always be a formal signature on the document itself, it’s important for the principal to communicate their choice of agent and ensure that the agent understands their role and responsibilities.

In the course of our firm’s procedures for the proper execution of a healthcare power of attorney we request that the agent (attorney-in-fact) appear before an in-house notary to executed the power of attorney acknowledging acceptance of said role on the document’s face.

If this proves problematic or impossible, our standard course of action is to either mail a copy of the document via certified mail to the agent or require the principal to deliver a copy in person with a signed confirmation being executed in our office providing a date and time when this was completed.