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Advance Directives

  • Power of Attorney for Property

  • Power of Attorney for Health Care

  • Living Will Declaration Form

  • Declaration for Mental Health Treatment

  • Practitioner Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Form

Description of Advanced Directives

POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PROPERTY. In Illinois, each individual has the right to appoint an agent to make property and financial decisions for the individual. See 755 ILCS 45/2-1, 3-3 (Illinois Power of Attorney Act). “[T]he principal may empower the agent to act throughout the principal's lifetime, including during periods of disability, and have confidence that third parties will honor the agent's authority at all times.” See 755 ILCS 45/2-1.

POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE. In Illinois, each individual has the right to appoint an agent to make personal and health care decisions for the individual. See 755 ILCS 45/2-1, 4-1 (Illinois Power of Attorney Act). “[T]he principal may empower the agent to act throughout the principal's lifetime, including during periods of disability, and have confidence that third parties will honor the agent's authority at all times.” See 755 ILCS 45/2-1.

LIVING WILL DECLARATION FORM. Persons in Illinois “have the fundamental right to control the decisions relating to the rendering of their own medical care, including the decision to have death delaying procedures withheld or withdrawn in instances of a terminal condition.” See 755 ILCS 35/1 (Illinois Living Will Act). “[R]ights of patients may be respected even after they are no longer able to participate actively in decisions about themselves[.]” See 755 ILCS 35/1. Illinois recognizes “the right of a person to make a written declaration instructing his or her physician to withhold or withdraw death delaying procedures in the event of a terminal condition.” See 755 ILCS 35/1.

DECLARATION FOR MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT. In Illinois, an “adult of sound mind may make a declaration of preferences or instructions regarding mental health treatment. The preferences or instructions may include consent to or refusal of mental health treatment.” See 755 ILCS 43/10 (Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration Act). 

PRACTITIONER ORDERS FOR LIFE SUATAINING TREATMENT (POLST). In Illinois, “all persons have a fundamental right to make decisions relating to their own medical treatment, including the right to forgo life-sustaining treatment. Lack of decisional capacity, alone, should not prevent decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment from being made on behalf of persons who lack decisional capacity and have no known applicable living will or power of attorney for health care.” See 755 ILCS 40/5 (Health Care Surrogate Act). A POLST form defines “the circumstances under which private decisions by patients with decisional capacity and by surrogate decision makers on behalf of patients lacking decisional capacity to make medical treatment decisions or to terminate life-sustaining treatment may be made without judicial involvement of any kind.” See 755 ILCS 40/5.

Download or Print Advanced Directives Forms

On its website, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) publishes health-related “Advanced Directive” forms such as: Power of Attorney for Health Care; Living Will Declaration Form; Declaration for Mental Health Treatment Form; and Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Form. These forms may be used by the public and are available in both English and Spanish at the following link: 

  • Public Health’s Advanced Directive Forms

Additionally, individual forms can be downloaded here:

Contact

To obtain free paper copies of Power of Attorney and Living Will Forms;  

  • contact the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine; or

  • visit the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission - Forms

  • visit the Illinois Department of Public Health - Forms