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Should I Include Advance Medical Directives in My Estate Plan?

 Posted on September 16,2021 in Estate Planning

DuPage County Estate Planning AttorneyDuring the estate planning process, most people will focus primarily on what will happen after their death, addressing how their property should be distributed among their heirs and how they want to handle the disposal of their remains. However, an estate plan can also address how certain matters will be handled while a person is still alive, including the types of medical care they will receive. Addressing these issues in your estate plan can be important, since it will help your family members avoid uncertainty, and it will ensure that you will receive the medical care and treatment you want, no matter what happens.

Advance Medical Directives in Illinois

Illinois law allows you to create the following types of advance directives to address your medical treatment:

  • Living will - This document addresses what you would like to happen if you become terminally ill and cannot express your wishes regarding your treatment. You can specify whether you want life-sustaining treatment to be provided or withheld or whether you want to receive treatment meant to provide comfort and ease your pain. A living will only applies in situations where you have an irreversible condition that will lead to your death, and any treatment provided would only delay death temporarily. 

  • Do not resuscitate (DNR) order - This type of order, which is also known as a practitioner order for life-sustaining treatment (POLST), will state that if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating, you do not want CPR or any other forms of resuscitation to be administered. You can also use this order to address other types of life-sustaining treatment that you do or do not want to receive.

  • Mental health treatment declaration - If you suffer from a mental illness or a condition that affects your mental health, you can use this type of document to decide whether you wish to be admitted to a mental health facility for up to 17 days and whether you wish to receive medication or electroconvulsive treatment for your condition. You can also specify a person who can make decisions about mental health treatment on your behalf. After signing this type of agreement, it will remain in effect for three years.

  • Power of attorney for healthcare - With this type of agreement, you can name a person who will be able to make decisions about your medical care and any other forms of treatment you receive. You can specify the types of decisions the person will be able to make and detail your wishes for how you want your medical care to be handled. A power of attorney can go into effect immediately if you need help with medical decisions right away, or you can detail the circumstances in which the person you choose will be allowed to make medical decisions for you, such as if you are unconscious and unable to express your wishes.

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyers

At NN Legal Group, we can advise you on the type of advance medical directives that you may want to include in your estate plan, and we can ensure that these documents will fully detail your wishes. To get legal help with matters related to estate planning, contact our Glendale Heights advance medical directive attorneys at 630-474-0925 and schedule your free consultation.






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