Estate Planning Lawyers in Kane County

Power of Attorney for Healthcare

Oftentimes, people find it difficult to consider their legal options regarding future medical decisions. While it may be unpleasant to consider a time when you are incapacitated, it is important to think about your options. Signing a power of attorney (POA) for healthcare document can give a loved one or trusted friend the authority to make your healthcare decisions in the event you are unable to decide for yourself. When thinking about a POA for healthcare, there are many options to consider. Changes to the law will be effective soon, so you should consult with an estate planning attorney in Illinois before making any decisions.

Why Should I Sign a POA?

Creating a power of attorney for healthcare can benefit you in many ways. The main goal of a healthcare POA is to assign decision-making authority to a specific person, also known as your agent. The benefit of doing so is providing peace of mind for yourself and your family in case you become incapacitated. Should you become unable to make essential healthcare decisions for yourself, your POA will protect your interests by designating one person, your agent, to make those choices for you. With a healthcare POA, you can decide ahead of time what medical treatment you should receive should you be unable to decide in the moment.

One common question about signing a POA for healthcare is whether it is necessary. Many people informally tell family members and friends their wishes in case tragedy strikes. However, having a legal document that authorizes your agent to make specific decisions is much more beneficial to you and your family. In stressful circumstances, your loved ones may forget your wishes or not be able to communicate with healthcare providers. Your POA can clarify your wishes about important specific medical decisions, such as:

  • End of life treatment;
  • Disposal of remains;
  • Organ donation;
  • Autopsy; and
  • Specific medical treatments.

Your POA can also allow your agent to make healthcare decisions using his or her best judgment in regards to all medical decisions.

Changes to the Law in 2015

In August 2014, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law revising the current POA healthcare form. This law will go into effect on January 1, 2015, and brings many changes that will directly benefit patients. Professional medical associations critiqued the previous form as confusing and poorly worded. The revised form created by this law allows you to explore more options when you create your POA. If you previously executed a POA for healthcare, you may want to amend it. If you have questions about how the law will affect your current POA, or want your options are, contact an experienced wills and trusts attorney today.

Call a Kane County Estate Planning Lawyer

At Law Office of James F. White, P.C., our reputable Kane County estate planning attorneys are dedicated to helping you plan for your future. Whether you want to draft a new power of attorney for healthcare, or would like to revise your existing POA, consult our firm for practical, straightforward advice. We serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Kane County, Kendall County, DuPage County, and DeKalb County. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation.

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