"Living Will" - Illinois

An Illinois Living Will - sometimes confused with an Advance Directive - is a vital piece of paperwork that allows all patients to ensure that their wishes regarding life-sustaining medical treatment are honored by doctors and healthcare professionals working in the state of Illinois. Living Will forms are legal tools used to assure that the patient's wishes with respect to the number and quality of medical procedures are carried out in their final days or when they are incapacitated.

These forms reflect the patient's rights of consent and medical choice under conditions whereby they are no longer capable of choosing the procedures they wish to undergo for themselves. Any will is a significant legal document that should be given careful thought and discussed with the family, a physician, and care providers. It is highly recommended that a discussion of the patient's wishes occurs before any medical treatment is necessary, since the will may directly involve the patient's family or require them to assist in its implementation.

You can download a pre-made form released by the Illinois Department of Public Health in May 2012 through the link below.

An Illinois Living Will is defined by 755 ILCS 35/2(b) and regulated by 755 ILCS 35/1 (Illinois Compiled Statutes). The will must be signed by the individual (or another at the individual's direction) and witnessed by two (2) adult individuals. This document is not valid in Illinois if the patient is pregnant.

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Living Will
DECLARATION
This declaration is made this __________ day of__________________________ (month, year).
I, ___________________________________, born on _____________, being of sound mind,
willfully and voluntarily make known my desires that my moment of death shall not be
artificially postponed.
If at any time I should have an incurable and irreversible injury, disease, or illness judged to be a
terminal condition by my attending physician who has personally examined me and has
determined that my death is imminent except for death delaying procedures, I direct that such
procedures which would only prolong the dying process be withheld or withdrawn, and that I be
permitted to die naturally with only the administration of medication, sustenance, or the
performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary by my attending physician to provide
me with comfort care.
In the absence of my ability to give directions regarding the use of such death delaying
procedures, it is my intention that this declaration shall be honored by my family and physician
as the final expression of my legal right to refuse medical or surgical treatment and accept the
consequences from such refusal.
Signed________________________________________________________________________
City, County and State of Residence________________________________________________
The declarant is personally known to me and I believe him or her to be of sound mind. I saw the
declarant sign the declaration in my presence (or the declarant acknowledged in my presence that
he or she had signed the declaration) and I signed the declaration as a witness in the presence of
the declarant. I did not sign the declarant’s signature above for or at the direction of the
declarant. At the date of this instrument, I am not entitled to any portion of the estate of the
declarant according to the laws of intestate succession or, to the best of my knowledge and
belief, under any will of declarant or other instrument taking effect at declarant’s death, or
directly financially responsible for declarant’s medical care.
Witness _______________________________________________________________________
Witness _______________________________________________________________________
History
(Source: P.A. 85-1209.)
Annotations
Note. This section was Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 110 1/2, Para. 703.
Rev 5/2012
Living Will
DECLARATION
This declaration is made this __________ day of__________________________ (month, year).
I, ___________________________________, born on _____________, being of sound mind,
willfully and voluntarily make known my desires that my moment of death shall not be
artificially postponed.
If at any time I should have an incurable and irreversible injury, disease, or illness judged to be a
terminal condition by my attending physician who has personally examined me and has
determined that my death is imminent except for death delaying procedures, I direct that such
procedures which would only prolong the dying process be withheld or withdrawn, and that I be
permitted to die naturally with only the administration of medication, sustenance, or the
performance of any medical procedure deemed necessary by my attending physician to provide
me with comfort care.
In the absence of my ability to give directions regarding the use of such death delaying
procedures, it is my intention that this declaration shall be honored by my family and physician
as the final expression of my legal right to refuse medical or surgical treatment and accept the
consequences from such refusal.
Signed________________________________________________________________________
City, County and State of Residence________________________________________________
The declarant is personally known to me and I believe him or her to be of sound mind. I saw the
declarant sign the declaration in my presence (or the declarant acknowledged in my presence that
he or she had signed the declaration) and I signed the declaration as a witness in the presence of
the declarant. I did not sign the declarant’s signature above for or at the direction of the
declarant. At the date of this instrument, I am not entitled to any portion of the estate of the
declarant according to the laws of intestate succession or, to the best of my knowledge and
belief, under any will of declarant or other instrument taking effect at declarant’s death, or
directly financially responsible for declarant’s medical care.
Witness _______________________________________________________________________
Witness _______________________________________________________________________
History
(Source: P.A. 85-1209.)
Annotations
Note. This section was Ill.Rev.Stat., Ch. 110 1/2, Para. 703.
Rev 5/2012
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What Is an Illinois Living Will?

A Living Will is a legal form that lets all participating parties know about the kind of medical care and palliative care a patient wishes to receive. When creating a will, the individual will be deciding on the types of care that they are willing to receive and the types of medical care they will not be receiving. For example, some people choose to not be resuscitated if they stop breathing while in a coma, while others choose to remain on life support.

An individual can print out a basic Living Will template with or without the assistance of an attorney. The document may be revoked in writing or orally, by either the patient (the person making the will) or by a designated proxy (the person elected to make healthcare-related decisions for the patient).

How to Make a Living Will in Illinois?

Difficult health-related situations can occur to any person at any age, so it is a good idea for all adults to have a will. Usually, a basic ready-made template should address most of the medical procedures common in life-threatening situations, such as resuscitation via electric shock, ventilation, and dialysis. An individual can choose to allow some of these procedures or none of them. They may also indicate whether they wish to donate organs and tissues after death. Even if a person refuses life-sustaining care, they can express the desire to receive pain medication throughout final hours including the related provisions in their Living Will.

When completing a will an individual may appoint an agent - or a health care proxy - to make decisions on their behalf in the event of incapacitation. No notarization is required unless otherwise specifically requested by the proxy.