Posted on: March 27th, 2023 by EOS Healthcare Marketing
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will, also known as an advance directive, is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care if you cannot communicate or make decisions for yourself. It allows you to express your preferences for medical treatment, such as whether you want life-sustaining measures taken if you are terminally ill, in a vegetative state, or have a terminal condition. It can also include instructions regarding pain management, organ donation, and other medical issues.
When Should Someone Have a Living Will?
It is a good idea for anyone over 18 to have a Living Will. While it may be difficult to think about the possibility of becoming seriously ill or incapacitated, having a Living Will in place can provide peace of mind and help ensure that your wishes are respected in the event of a medical emergency.
People who have a chronic illness or are facing a serious medical condition may be particularly interested in creating a Living Will. However, it is important to remember that accidents and unexpected illnesses can happen to anyone, regardless of age or health status. It’s also a good idea to review and update your Living Will periodically, especially if your medical condition changes or you have a major life event, such as getting married or divorced, having a child, or experiencing the death of a loved one.
How Do You Create a Living Will in Illinois?
Determine your healthcare preferences: Consider the types of medical treatments you would or would not want in various situations, such as if you were in a coma or diagnosed with a terminal illness. You may want to consult with your doctor or a healthcare professional to understand the possible outcomes of different medical treatments.
Complete the Declaration form: Fill out the Declaration form with your healthcare preferences, sign and date it, and witness it by two adult witnesses who meet the legal requirements.
Distribute copies: Make copies of your Declaration and distribute them to your healthcare providers, loved ones, and others who may need to know about your healthcare preferences.
Review and update as needed: Review your Declaration periodically to ensure it still reflects your current healthcare preferences. You can update your Declaration by creating a new one or by making changes to the existing one in writing.
It’s important to remember that a Living Will is just one component of an effective advanced care plan. You may also want to consider appointing a healthcare proxy or agent who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot do so. My Living Wishes can also help provide more information.
What are the Living Will Requirements in the State of Illinois?
In Illinois, a Living Will is known as a “Declaration.” The following are the requirements for a valid Declaration in Illinois:
Age: You must be 18 or older to create a Declaration.
Capacity: You must be of sound mind and able to understand the nature and consequences of your healthcare decisions when creating a Declaration.
Witness: Your Declaration must be signed in the presence of two adult witnesses who are not related to you, not named in your will, not entitled to any portion of your estate, and not responsible for your medical care.
Content: Your Declaration must contain a statement indicating that it is your declaration, your signature or a mark made by you, and the date of your signature or mark. It must also include a statement indicating your intent to create a Declaration, your desires about withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, and your acceptance of the consequences of your decision.
Revocation: You have the right to revoke your Declaration at any time, either in writing or by an oral statement in the presence of a witness.
It’s important to note that a Declaration may be overruled by a court if there is evidence that it was not created in compliance with the legal requirements or if it conflicts with public policy. It’s also a good idea to discuss your wishes with your healthcare providers and loved ones to ensure that they understand your desires and can advocate for your wishes if you cannot communicate them yourself.