If the past year has taught us anything, it has taught us that we need to prepare for the unexpected. Friday, April 16, 2021, is National Healthcare Decisions Day. NHDD was created to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advanced healthcare planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. Churches, synagogues, and mosques around the country will support the effort by highlighting the importance of advance care planning with their congregations.
What happens if you become seriously ill or injured, and can’t make your own medical decisions? Who do you want to make your health care decisions if you are no longer able to? What happens if you don’t choose someone to make your healthcare decisions if you become ill?
Advanced healthcare directives are living documents that you can update and change as your situation changes. In Illinois, we use two types of advanced healthcare directives:
Health Care Proxy
If you become incapacitated, who do you trust to make your health care decisions? If you don’t appoint a health care proxy, the courts will assign someone to make your medical decisions – and it may not be a person you trust. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a durable power of attorney, a legal device that allows one person to indefinitely make decisions on behalf of another.
Medical Power of Attorney
A Medical POA is a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a signed, witnessed legal document where someone designates an agent to make health care decisions if they are temporarily or permanently unable to make such medical decisions. A durable power of attorney for health care lasts indefinitely and the person granting the POA authority typically retains the power to revoke it.
An Illinois estate planning lawyer can help you create an advanced healthcare directive to convey your medical care wishes if you are unable to. Consulting an experienced probate, trust and estates attorney in Chicago or Lombard can give you protection and peace of mind. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.