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Illinois Durable Power of Attorney Laws

While "living wills" are legally binding documents that indicate whether you wish to remain on life support after a serious illness or accident, the durable power of attorney grants authority to a named invidual to act according to these wishes should you become incapacitated. Illinois durable power of attorney laws cover these types of scenarios and may also extend beyond a patient's death to permit an organ donation or to direct how one's remains are to be disposed of.

The key points of Illinois durable power of attorney laws are listed in the table below. See Wills and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care for a general introduction.

Code Section 755 ILCS 45/4-1 Powers of Attorney for Health Care Law
Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts Health care powers may be delegated to an agent and include consent or refusal or withdrawal of any type of health care for individual. May extend beyond principal's death if necessary to permit anatomical gift, autopsy, or disposition of remains
Legal Requirements for Durable Power of Attorney Neither attending physician nor health care provider may act as agent (statutory short form at 45/4-10). Living will not operative as long as properly authorized agent is available.
Revocation of Durable Power of Attorney Revocable at any time by principal without regard to mental or physical condition by (1) written revocation signed and dated; (2) oral expression in presence of witness who signs and dates a written confirmation; (3) destruction of power of attorney in manner indicating intent to revoke
Validity from State-to-State -
If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney Agent responsible for transfer after being promptly informed by attending physician of his refusal or failure to comply, but attending physician must afford all reasonably necessary consultation and care in connection with transfer
Immunity for Attending Physician No civil, criminal, or professional liability if good faith reliance on any decision or direction by agent not clearly contrary to terms of a health care agency

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Illinois estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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