Chicago Estate Planning Attorney — Healthcare Directives
Planning for future health care decisions is a fundamental part of any intelligent and proactive estate plan. In fact, in the state of Illinois, every resident has the right to create an advanced healthcare directive that expresses how you want to make medical decisions in the future if you are unable to do so.
If you’re in a serious injury, you suffer an illness, or you otherwise become mentally unfit to make a healthcare decision, these directives will ensure that your wishes are followed.
With both federal and Illinois laws providing various ways to make advanced directives, it’s important to understand your options so that you can make the most beneficial directive for you. For legal help in the creation and administration of your healthcare directives, contact Chicago estate planning attorney James C. Provenza & Associates, P.C. today.
Types of Healthcare Directives in Illinois
Illinois state laws detail several different types of advanced directives to help residents better plan for future healthcare decisions. In general, there are four healthcare directives to consider, including:
- Healthcare power of attorney — An order that lets you choose another individual to make health care decisions for you in the future
- Living will — A document that tells your health care professionals if you want death-delaying procedures when facing a terminal condition (and are unable to state your wishes).
- Mental health treatment preference declaration — A declaration that states whether you want to receive electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) or psychotropic medicine when you have a mental illness (and are unable to make these decisions for yourself).
- Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) and Practitioner Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) — These advanced directives say that healthcare professionals cannot use CPR if your heart and/or breathing stops.
In essence, all healthcare directives in Illinois allow you to participate in your own healthcare decisions if you are unable to do so yourself. However, all directives must be completed and filed while you are competent and capable of making your own decisions.
What Happens If You Don’t Have an Advanced Directive?
If you don’t have an advanced directive, which means written documentation clearly detailing your wishes, then healthcare professionals will do everything in their power to keep you alive in the event of a serious accident. However, if you’re mentally incapacitated, then a health care “surrogate” may be appointed to you for your health directives. According to Illinois laws, at least two healthcare professionals must certify that you’re unable to make competent healthcare decisions in order for a surrogate to be appointed. Keep in mind that a surrogate cannot make all healthcare decisions.
Contact James C. Provenza & Associates, P.C. Today
Planning for the future means having clear and actionable directives just in case a serious accident or illness occurs. It’s not a pleasant thought, but things like unexpected accidents, serious illnesses, or other events that may render you mentally incapacitated can (and do) occur.
For this reason, it is essential to contact a prominent and experienced estate planning attorney who can help you with your healthcare directives. At Provenza & Associates, we will work with you, one-on-one, to determine the ideal advanced directives for your circumstances. We’ll make sure that any and all possible scenarios are accounted for, and we’ll make sure that your directives are clear and leave no room for conflict.
For a free consultation with Illinois estate attorney James C. Provenza, call our law office today at (847) 729-3939.