What is an Illinois Medical Power of Attorney?
The individual granting control is known as the "principal," and the individual or entity obtaining powers is called the "agent." Suitable for residents of Illinois, this Power of Attorney for health care can be used in Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and in all other parts of the state. All Illinois Medical PoA forms from Rocket Lawyer can be fully personalized to address your specific scenario. Creating this official document will provide proof to healthcare providers and other parties that your chosen representative can act in your interest.
When to use an Illinois Medical Power of Attorney:
- You want to legally assign a trusted person to be in charge of your healthcare if you become incapacitated.
- You have declining health or major surgeries coming up.
NOTICE TO THE INDIVIDUAL SIGNING THE POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE
No one can predict when a serious illness or accident might occur. When it does, you may need someone else to speak or make health care decisions for you. If you plan now, you can increase the chances that the medical treatment you get will be the treatment you want.
In Illinois, you can choose someone to be your "health care agent." Your agent is the person you trust to make health care decisions for you if you are unable or do not want to make them yourself. These decisions should be based on your personal values and wishes.
It is important to put your choice of agent in writing. The written form is often called an "advance directive." You may use this form or another form, as long as it meets the legal requirements of Illinois. There are many written and on-line resources to guide you and your loved ones in having a conversation about these issues. You may find it helpful to look at these resources while thinking about and discussing your advance directive.
WHAT ARE THE THINGS I WANT MY HEALTH CARE AGENT TO KNOW?
The selection of your agent should be considered carefully, as your agent will have the ultimate decision making authority once this document goes into effect, in most instances after you are no longer able to make your own decisions. While the goal is for your agent to make decisions in keeping with your preferences and in the majority of circumstances that is what happens, please know that the law does allow your agent to make decisions to direct or refuse health care interventions or withdraw treatment. Your agent will need to think about conversations you have had, your personality, and how you handled important health care issues in the past. Therefore, it is important to talk with your agent and your family about such things as:
(i) What is most important to you in your life?
(ii) How important is it to you to avoid pain and suffering?
(iii) If you had to choose, is it more important to you to live as long as possible, or to avoid prolonged suffering or disability?
(iv) Would you rather be at home or in a hospital for the last days or weeks of your life?
(v) Do you have religious, spiritual, or cultural beliefs that you want your agent and others to consider?
(vi) Do you wish to make a significant contribution to medical science after your death through organ or whole body donation?
(vii) Do you have an existing advance directive, such as a living will, that contains your specific wishes about health care that is only delaying your death? If you have another advance directive, make sure to discuss with your agent the directive and the treatment decisions contained within that outline your preferences. Make sure that your agent agrees to honor the wishes expressed in your advance directive.
WHAT KIND OF DECISIONS CAN MY AGENT MAKE?
If there is ever a period of time when your physician determines that you cannot make your own health care decisions, or if you do not want to make your own decisions, some of the decisions your agent could make are to:
(i) Talk with physicians and other health care providers about your condition.
(ii) See medical records and approve who else can see them.
(iii) Give permission for medical tests, medicines, surgery, or other treatments.
(iv) Choose where you receive care and which physicians and others provide it.
(v) Decide to accept, withdraw, or decline treatments designed to keep you alive if you are near death or not likely to recover. You may choose to include guidelines and/or restrictions to your agent's authority.
(vi) Agree or decline to donate your organs or your whole body if you have not already made this decision yourself. This could include donation for transplant, research, and/or education. You should let your agent know whether you are registered as a donor in the First Person Consent registry maintained by the Illinois Secretary of State or whether you have agreed to donate your whole body for medical research and/or education.
(vii) Decide what to do with your remains after you have died, if you have not already made plans.
(viii) Talk with your other loved ones to help come to a decision (but your designated agent will have the final say over your other loved ones).Your agent is not automatically responsible for your health care expenses.
WHOM SHOULD I CHOOSE TO BE MY HEALTH CARE AGENT?
You can pick a family member, but you do not have to. Your agent will have the responsibility to make medical treatment decisions, even if other people close to you might urge a different decision. The selection of your agent should be done carefully, as he or she will have ultimate decision-making authority for your treatment decisions once you are no longer able to voice your preferences. Choose a family member, friend, or other person who:
(i) Is at least 18 years old;
(ii) Knows you well;
(iii) You trust to do what is best for you and is willing to carry out your wishes, even if he or she may not agree with your wishes;
(iv) Would be comfortable talking with and questioning your physicians and other health care providers;
(v) Would not be too upset to carry out your wishes if you became very sick; and
(vi) Can be there for you when you need it and is willing to accept this important role.
WHAT IF MY AGENT IS NOT AVAILABLE OR IS UNWILLING TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR ME?
If the person who is your first choice is unable to carry out this role, then the second agent you chose will make the decisions; if your second agent is not available, then the third agent you chose will make the decisions. The second and third agents are called your successor agents and they function as back-up agents to your first choice agent and may act only one at a time and in the order you list them.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I DO NOT CHOOSE A HEALTH CARE AGENT?
If you become unable to make your own health care decisions and have not named an agent in writing, your physician and other health care providers will ask a family member, friend, or guardian to make decisions for you. In Illinois, a law directs which of these individuals will be consulted. In that law, each of these individuals is called a "surrogate."
There are reasons why you may want to name an agent rather than rely on a surrogate:
(i) The person or people listed by this law may not be who you would want to make decisions for you.
(ii) Some family members or friends might not be able or willing to make decisions as you would want them to.
(iii) Family members and friends may disagree with one another about the best decisions.
(iv) Under some circumstances, a surrogate may not be able to make the same kinds of decisions that an agent can make.
WHAT IF THERE IS NO ONE AVAILABLE WHOM I TRUST TO BE MY AGENT?
In this situation, it is especially important to talk to your physician and other health care providers and create written guidance about what you want or do not want, in case you are ever critically ill and cannot express your own wishes. You can complete a living will. You can also write your wishes down and/or discuss them with your physician or other health care provider and ask him or her to write it down in your chart. You might also want to use written or on-line resources to guide you through this process.
WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS FORM ONCE I COMPLETE IT?
Follow these instructions after you have completed the form:
(i) Sign the form in front of a witness. See the form for a list of who can and cannot witness it.
(ii) Ask the witness to sign it, too.
(iii) There is no need to have the form notarized.
(iv) Give a copy to your agent and to each of your successor agents.
(v) Give another copy to your physician.
(vi) Take a copy with you when you go to the hospital.
(vii) Show it to your family and friends and others who care for you.
WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND?
You may change your mind at any time. If you do, tell someone who is at least 18 years old that you have changed your mind, and/or destroy your document and any copies. If you wish, fill out a new form and make sure everyone you gave the old form to has a copy of the new one, including, but not limited to, your agents and your physicians.
WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT TO USE THIS FORM?
In the event you do not want to use the Illinois statutory form provided here, any document you complete must be executed by you, designate an agent who is over 18 years of age and not prohibited from serving as your agent, and state the agent's powers, but it need not be witnessed or conform in any other respect to the statutory health care power.
If you have questions about the use of any form, you may want to consult your physician, other health care provider, and/or an attorney.
Please put your initials on the following line indicating that you have read this Notice:
POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE
. REVOCATION. I, , hereby revoke all prior powers of attorney for healthcare executed by me.
. DESIGNATION OF AGENT. I, , of , , hereby appoint:
|Relation, if any:|
as my Health Care Agent (my "Agent") to act for me and in my name (in any way I could act in person) to make health care decisions for me as outlined in this Power of Attorney for Health Care.
(NOTE: Your attending physician or any other health care provider administering health care to you may not act as your Agent.)
. GENERAL STATEMENT OF AUTHORITY GRANTED. Subject to any limitations in this document, I grant to my Agent full power and authority to make health care decisions for me to the same extent that I could make such decisions for myself if I had the capacity to do so. I grant to my Agent full power and authority to make any and all decisions for me concerning my personal care, medical treatment, hospitalization and health care and to require, withhold or withdraw any type of medical treatment or procedure, even though my death may ensue. My Agent shall have the same access to my medical records that I have, including the right to disclose the contents to others.
In exercising this authority and to the degree possible, I request that my Agent make health care decisions that are consistent with my desires as stated in this document or otherwise made known to my Agent. If my desires regarding a particular health care decision are not known to my Agent, then my Agent shall make the decision for me based upon what my Agent believes to be in my best interests.
. ANATOMICAL GIFTS.
. AUTOPSY, DISPOSITION OF REMAINS.
. LIFE SUSTAINING TREATMENT.
. DURATION. (THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY MAY BE AMENDED OR REVOKED BY YOU IN THE MANNER PROVIDED IN SECTION 4-6 OF THE ILLINOIS "POWERS OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE LAW." ABSENT AMENDMENT OR REVOCATION, THE AUTHORITY GRANTED IN THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY WILL BECOME EFFECTIVE AT THE TIME THIS POWER IS SIGNED AND WILL CONTINUE UNTIL YOUR DEATH, AND BEYOND IF ANATOMICAL GIFT, AUTOPSY OR DISPOSITION OF REMAINS IS AUTHORIZED, UNLESS A LIMITATION ON THE BEGINNING DATE OR DURATION IS MADE IN THIS DOCUMENT.)
This power of attorney shall become effective
(Insert a future date or event during your lifetime, such as a court determination of your disability, when you want this power to first take effect.)
(NOTE: If you do not amend or revoke this power, or if you do not specify a specific ending date, it will remain in effect until your death; except that your agent will still have the authority to donate your organs, authorize an autopsy, and dispose of your remains after your death, if you grant that authority to your agent.)
This power of attorney shall terminate
(NOTE: Insert a future date or event, such as a court determination that you are not under a legal disability or a written determination by your physician that you are not incapacitated, if you want this power to terminate prior to your death.)
SECOND ALTERNATE AGENT
. NOMINATION OF GUARDIAN. If a Guardian of my person is to be appointed for me, I nominate my Agent (or Alternate Agent) to serve as such Guardian, to serve without bond or security.
. NOMINATION OF GUARDIAN. If a Guardian of my person is to be appointed for me, I nominate the following person to serve as such Guardian, to serve without bond or security.
. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
1. HOLD HARMLESS. All persons or entities who in good faith endeavor to carry out the terms and provisions of this document shall not be liable to me, my estate, my heirs or assigns for any damages or claims arising because of their action or inaction based on this document, and my estate shall defend and indemnify them.
2. SEVERABILITY. If any provision of this document is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions which can be given effect without the invalid provision, and to this end the directions in this document are severable.
3. STATEMENT OF INTENTIONS. It is my intent that this document be legally binding and effective. If the law does not recognize this document as legally binding and effective, it is my intent that this document be taken as a formal statement of my desire concerning the method by which any health care decisions should be made on my behalf during any period in which I am unable to make such decisions.
I am fully informed as to all the contents of this form and understand the full import of this grant of powers to my Agent.
Signed on ______ day of ____________________, _____.
has had an opportunity to review the above form and has signed the form or acknowledged his or her signature or mark on the form in my presence. The undersigned witness certifies that the witness is not: (a) the attending physician or mental health service provider or a relative of the physician or provider; (b) an owner, operator, or relative of an owner or operator of a health care facility in which the principal is a patient or resident; (c) a parent, sibling, descendant, or any spouse of such parent, sibling, or descendant of either the principal or any agent or successor agent under the foregoing power of attorney, whether such relationship is by blood, marriage, or adoption; or (d) an agent or successor agent under the foregoing power of attorney.
YOU MAY, BUT ARE NOT REQUIRED TO, REQUEST YOUR AGENT AND SUCCESSOR AGENTS TO PROVIDE SPECIMEN SIGNATURES BELOW. IF YOU INCLUDE SPECIMEN SIGNATURES IN THIS POWER OF ATTORNEY, YOU MUST COMPLETE THE CERTIFICATION OPPOSITE THE SIGNATURES OF THE AGENTS.
|Specimen signatures of Agent||I certify that the signatures of my|
|and successor(s).||Agent and successor(s) are correct.|
(NOTE: The name, address, and phone number of the person preparing this form or who assisted the principal in completing this form is optional.)
This document was prepared by:
Illinois Medical Power of Attorney FAQs
Where can I get Medical Power of Attorney in Illinois?
It is very simple to grant or obtain the support you need using a free Illinois Medical Power of Attorney template from Rocket Lawyer:
- Make your PoA - Answer a few simple questions and we will do the rest
- Send or share - Review the PoA with your agent(s) or get legal help
- Sign it and make it legal - Optional or not, notarization/witnesses are recommended
This route, in many cases, will end up being notably less time-consuming than finding and working with a traditional lawyer. If needed, you may fill out a Medical PoA on behalf of an elderly parent, a spouse, or another relative, and then help them sign after you've drafted it. Please note that for a Power of Attorney to be legally valid, the principal must be mentally competent at the time of signing. If the principal has already been declared incompetent, a conservatorship could be required. When managing this situation, it's best for you to talk to an attorney .
Who should have a Power of Attorney for healthcare in Illinois?
Every adult ought to have a Medical Power of Attorney. Though it is difficult to acknowledge, a day will likely come when you are no longer able to make your own medical decisions. Here are a few common situations in which PoA forms can be helpful:
- You are currently managing a terminal condition
- You plan to undergo an in-patient procedure that requires anesthesia
- You currently live in or are planning to move into an adult care facility
- You are aging or dealing with ongoing health issue
Regardless of whether your Illinois Medical Power of Attorney has been prepared as part of a long-term plan or made as a result of an unexpected issue, notarization and witnesses are highly recommended for protecting your agent if their authority is doubted.
What is the difference between an Illinois Healthcare Proxy and an Illinois Medical Power of Attorney?
At times, when discussing the subjects of elder care or estate planning with healthcare or legal professionals, you might find that the terms "healthcare power of attorney", "medical power of attorney" and "healthcare proxy" are used interchangeably. At the end of the day, they're one and the same. That being said, you should keep in mind that it is entirely possible to establish power of attorney over matters that are not related to medical care. In that case, "proxy" usually is not the term of choice.
Do I need to hire an attorney to review my Illinois Medical PoA?
Illinois Medical PoA forms are generally simple to make, but you or your agent(s) might still have legal questions. Seeking out a legal professional to double-check your document can take longer than you'd expect on your own. An easier approach worth consideration is to get help via attorney services at Rocket Lawyer. Premium members have the ability to ask for advice from an Rocket Lawyer network attorney with relevant experience or pose additional legal questions. As always, you can be confident that Rocket Lawyer is here by your side.
How much would I usually need to pay to get a Power of Attorney form for health care in Illinois?
The cost of meeting and hiring an attorney to write a Medical Power of Attorney might add up to anywhere from two hundred to five hundred dollars, depending on your location. Rocket Lawyer is not your average Power of Attorney template provider. With our service, anyone under a Rocket Lawyer Premium membership can take advantage of up to a 40% discount when hiring an Rocket Lawyer network attorney.
Would I have to do anything else after I draft an Illinois Medical Power of Attorney?
Your Power of Attorney comes with a checklist of tips to follow while finalizing the document. With a membership, you will be able to make edits, save it in PDF format or as a Word file, and sign it. Finally, your agent(s) and care providers should receive a copy of the final document.
Does a Medical Power of Attorney need to be notarized, witnessed, and/or recorded in Illinois?
The rules and restrictions for PoA forms will vary in each state; however, in Illinois, your Power of Attorney will require one witness. Witnesses to your PoA form shouldn't be your attending physician, advanced practice nurse, physician assistant, dentist, podiatric physician, optometrist, psychologist, or any relative of the healthcare professionals listed above. Along the same lines, your witness should also not be the owner or operator (or their relatives) at any healthcare facility where you are a patient. Your spouse or any of your other relatives are also prohibited. As a basic standard, witnesses must be at least 18 years old, and no witness should simultaneously be acting as your agent.
See Illinois Medical/Healthcare Power of Attorney law: 755 ILCS 45, Art. IV