When a person lacks decision-making abilities but does not have an advance directive, medical and financial decisions might have to be made by a court-appointed guardian who may or may not be someone the incapacitated person would have wanted or selected. The guardian will be left to make important but difficult decisions, including what type of medical treatment the incapacitated person should receive and whether he or she should remain on life support.
Many families do not agree on what type of care their loved one should receive. With no advance directive in place, this situation can result in a lengthy dispute that may be difficult and costly to resolve. At Monahan Law Group, LLC, our attorneys assist individuals in Chicago and throughout Illinois in avoiding this unwanted situation with well-drafted advance directives.
Drafting The Right Documents For You
There are several documents you can add to your estate plan to make your health care wishes known, including:
- Health care power of attorney: This important document allows you to appoint someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself.
- Property power of attorney: A property power of attorney allows you to appoint an individual to manage your finances and real estate should you become unable to do so.
- Living will: A living will allows you to make decisions now about what type of death-delaying medical treatment you do or do not want.
- Mental health treatment preference declaration: This document allows you to appoint someone to make decisions if you become mentally ill and unable to do so on your own. It also allows you to decide whether you would or would not like to receive certain treatments for mental illness, including psychotropic medication and electroconvulsive treatment (ECT).
- Disposition of remains: This document enables you to appoint an individual to control the disposition of your body after your death.
- Do not resuscitate (DNR): If you do not want to receive advanced cardiac life support or cardiopulmonary resuscitation in life-or-death situations, you can make your wishes known in a DNR order.
- Health care surrogate: We assist physicians and other medical professionals who need to appoint a health care surrogate for a patient who does not have the capacity to make medical decisions.