Conveying end-of-life wishes in an estate plan is an extremely important goal for many people. Unfortunately, having a conversation with family members may not be enough to ensure that your wishes are carried out. By writing your wishes into your estate plan, you gain greater peace of mind.
Where Should You Include End-of-Life Wishes?
In Illinois, you can make four different kinds of advance directives that include various types of end-of-life wishes:
- Health care power of attorney
- Living will
- Mental health treatment preference declaration
- Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR)/Practitioner Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
Which Kinds of Wishes Can You Include?
The health care power of attorney can include instructions for your agent regarding when you want life-saving treatments and when you want them ended, when you want to refuse some kinds of treatments, anatomical gifts, and disposal of remains.
The living will tells your doctors when you want death-delaying procedures used. It usually applies only if you have a terminal condition and are unable to state your wishes to the doctors. The DNR/POLST tells your doctors whether you want to be resuscitated and your wishes for life-sustaining treatment.
The mental health treatment preference declaration allows to you say whether you want psychiatric medications or shock treatments, if you are unable to state your wishes yourself. You also can specify whether you want to be admitted to a mental health facility treatment.
How to Learn More
If you would like to learn more about including end-of-life wishes in your estate plan, contact a local estate planning attorney for help making your plan. An attorney can ensure that your estate plan is legally effective and binding on your family and doctors.
Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.