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Chicago Healthcare Directives Attorneys
Advocating for your Health and Future
At Wolff Legal, our team can help you create healthcare directives as part of our detailed estate planning services. These documents help ensure that medical providers respect your wishes when it comes to treatments, resuscitation, and palliative care. Our team takes time to assess your situation and your goals for your healthcare directives. This type of legally binding document is vital for strong estate planning. We can walk you through your options and help determine which one(s) are appropriate for your specific needs.
When you draft and execute healthcare directives, you gain peace of mind about future medical decisions happening if you are incapacitated due to terminal illness, surgery, accident, or old age. Healthcare directives are also important for your loved ones in such events because you have already organized everything.
What Types of Healthcare Directives Exist?
In Illinois, the law allows every resident to create healthcare directives to plan for future medical decisions if do not have the mental or physical ability to make them due to specific circumstances such as terminal illness, coma, or old age.
Four types of healthcare directives are available in Illinois:
- Power of Attorney for Healthcare
- Living Will
- Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order and Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
When you create a Power of Attorney for Healthcare, you designate an agent, someone you trust and who will respect your wishes, to make medical decisions on your behalf, including treatment, surgery, palliative care, resuscitation, or whether to admit you in a hospital or nursing home. You decide on the scope and duration of their authority.
A living will involves instructions for your medical providers if you experience a terminal injury or illness but are unable to directly communicate your preferences of care.
A living will can cover:
- Tube Feeding
- Artificial Hydration
- Assisted Breathing
- Resuscitation Options
- Palliative Treatment
- Post-Mortem Tissue or Organ Donation
A Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration exclusively addresses treatment instructions relating to mental illnesses such as electroconvulsive treatment (ECT), psychotropic medicine, or admission to a mental health facility.
A Do Not Resuscitate Order instruct healthcare provider not to perform CPR if your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.
In addition to those healthcare directives, you can also create a legally binding document to control the disposition of your remains after your death. This option can provide details about your desired burial or cremation, and whether you want to donate organs.
What Happens If You Do Not Have Healthcare Directives in Illinois?
If you have not created any healthcare directive, this means there is no written and legally binding documentation for healthcare professionals to work with if you are mentally incapacitated. If this happens, Illinois medical providers do everything they can to keep you alive.
Under Illinois laws, two healthcare professionals can certify that you are unable to make decisions regarding your medical situation. In this case, the state authorizes the appointment of a healthcare surrogate to make decisions on your behalf although they do not have the authority to decide on every medical matter.
To ensure that future medical choices reflect your desires and to minimize stress for your family in difficult times, we recommend that you consult us to create healthcare directives that meet your needs. Our attorneys have extensive experience drafting and reviewing estate planning documents that fit our clients’ unique situations.