Advance Directives, Living Wills, and Healthcare Power of Attorney

Web Admin - Thursday, February 08, 2018
Schaumburg estate planning lawyer advance directivesProper estate planning is essential for every family, and the decisions made during this process will allow you to protect your personal property and financial assets and pass them on to your heirs after your death. But in addition to considering what will happen after you die, it is also a good idea to plan for how medical decisions will be handled for you if you ever become unable to make these decisions for yourself. The documents detailing your instructions in these matters are known as advance directives, and the two most common directives are living wills and healthcare power of attorney.

Living Wills

With a living will, you can inform a doctor or other healthcare provider that you do not want them to use medical procedures which will delay your death if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness. A living will only goes into effect if you have an “incurable and irreversible condition [in which] death is imminent” and you are unable to communicate your preferences to your doctor.

Illinois law provides a standard form for living wills, but you may also create your own customized document, including specific instructions about certain situations or medical procedures you do not want your doctor to perform.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

A healthcare power of attorney document allows you to name someone who is authorized to make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself. You can give this person, known as your agent, broad authority to make decisions, or you can include specific instructions about what types of decisions they can make, what treatments you do and do not want to receive, whether you would like to donate your organs after your death, and how your remains should be disposed of.

Healthcare power of attorney will go into effect as soon as the document is signed, and your agent will continue to have authority to make decisions until your death, unless you include a time limit. If you have both a living will and healthcare power of attorney, decisions about death-delaying treatments will be made by your agent, unless they are unavailable, in which case your doctors will follow the instructions in your living will.

Contact a Schaumburg Estate Planning Lawyer

In addition to healthcare power of attorney and a living will, you may want to consider other advance directives: a mental health treatment preference declaration which will describe what treatments for mental illness you want to receive if you cannot make decisions for yourself, or a do not resuscitate (DNR) order which states that you do not want to be revived if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.

If you want to know more about how to create the advance directives that will ensure your wishes are carried out correctly if you are incapacitated, the skilled attorneys at Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC can answer your questions and work with you to create the documents you need. Contact our Barrington estate planning attorneys at 847-934-6000 to schedule a personalized consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Estate Tax Changes: Is it Time to Revisit Your Living Trust?

Web Admin - Friday, October 11, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) introduced “portability” as a permanent law which has many Illinois residents asking about the need for customary trusts. Portability allows a transfer up to $5.25 million in federal tax exceptions to surviving spouses. Previously, a married couple could only make the best use of both spouses’ exception amounts by dividing asset ownership and establishing a credit shelter trust (or an A/B living trust) that initiates after one spouse is deceased. Accordingly, a married couple can pass on $10.5 million to their heirs free from federal estate taxes.

If you have an existing A/B trust plan drafted prior to the estate tax law changes it is most likely based on the Federal Estate Exemption amount, which when it was $650,000, probably worked for a “mid-sized” estate. Now that the exemption is $5.25 million, people need to revisit the funding/formula clause of their A/B trust plan so that there is money present for a surviving spouse. Using portability rules at the federal level can allow a surviving spouse to live off the estate without necessarily the need for A/B planning depending on the size of the estate.

Additionally, a deceased spouse’s estate will not be taxable if less than $5.25 million. A surviving spouse will be required to fill out an IRS Form 706. The United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return will allow the surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s tax exemption or it will be lost. This exception is not transferable, but an A/B living trust can take advantage of the exemption amounts for potential transfers to grandchildren.

Though portability simplifies federal estate planning, but not Illinois Estate Tax, the need for traditional trusts is still apparent with the use of a credit shelter trust. There is potential to lose a deceased spouse’s unused exceptions if the surviving spouse remarries. A credit shelter trust with a new spouse can be used to protect this exception before remarriage. Prior to a remarriage, a credit shelter trust may provide asset protection and secure inheritances for children of former marriages and save assets from an heir’s creditors.

Inflation can also effect an exception amount because the portability law is fixed, but again a credit shelter trust can offer a safeguard. Finally, a living trust can avoid the costs and delays of probate that can cause family grief after a family death.

Since portability is here to stay, now would be a good time to revisit your living trust to determine how the portability law effects inheritance distribution. Contact an Illinois estate planning attorney to make sure your assets are accurately dispersed as you intend.

Recent Posts


medical marijuana Liquor Control Act wills Illinois insurance attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer employees Illinois lawyer employee discrimination probate process Schaumburg employment attorney murder charges Home Remodeling Repair Act Chicago employment lawyer Illinois insurance lawyer Schaumburg car accident attorney Buffalo Grove probate lawyer Illinois pet lawyer digital information Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys DUI attorney Illinois Probate Act of 1975 Exclusions Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers defective products lawyer employment contract commercial leases Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Schaumburg real estate lawyer real estate closing living trust vs will Mt Prospect Attorney real estate trucking accidents Palatine personal injury lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer liability hands free device agent Illinois trucking safety Deer Park criminal attorney anesthesia errors Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney owner responsibility estate planning attorney ObamaCare distracted driving accidents probate claims process Arlington Heights injury attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer Barrington boating accident attorney Chicago employment attorney Crystal Lake car accident lawyer workers compensation benefits Do Not Resuscitate health insurance dispute medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers modern family estate planning IRA trust transfer Des Plaines tax law firm Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer work unions car crash injuries Illinois estate planning attorney PTSD Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer probate fees Palatine Attorney Forcible Entry cell phone tower data trucking accident lawyers Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer residential real estate Barrington employment law attorney small business controlled substance trustee filing a medical malpractice claim Illinois real estate lawyer Barrington attorney Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer insurance claim bad faith insurance claims construction accidents Des Plaines claims law firm Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Super Mario civil rights violation Transfer on Death Instrument Long Grove estate planning attorneys sexual harassment Buffalo Grove corporate attorney Schaumburg employment law attorneys murder defense appealing an insurance claim workers comp Schaumburg criminal attorney Thanksgiving estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Chicago insurance claim attorneys POA preventable medical errors estate planning trusts contracts clemency texting and driving Long Grove real estate lawyer insurance agent negligence Illinois business lawyer Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer vacation home fines fault based insurance Chicago traffic lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers trusts golf accidents employment law, Illinois employment laws Whistleblower Claims business litigation dog bites Barrington criminal lawyer license suspension Palatine injury attorney pet law insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys Crystal Lake employment attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer DUI defense Arlington Heights employment attorney pedestrian accident Retaliatory Discharge auto accidents drug crimes lawyer drunk driving statistics Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer boating under the influence life insurance lawyer brain injury loss of consortium real estate attorneys TBI spinal cord injury Illinois will lawyer condo Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers in terrorem provision rumble strips civil litigation attorney probate claims natural gas explosion Barrington drug crime attorney Rolling Meadows tax attorney medication errors Rolling Meadows Crystal Lake employment lawyer Buffalo Grove law firm IRELA employment lawyer personal injury claims Rolling Meadows traffic law firm Crystal Lake car accident attorney Attorney Ken Apicella Barrington injury attorney Inverness personal injury attorney Des Plaines accident attorney Des Plaines injury law firm real estate lawyer CAM unfunded trust Palatine traffic lawyer probate lawyer Palatine traffic accidents Illinois attorney Schaumburg insurance lawyers digital evidence Illinois collections attorney employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys forming a corporation in Illinois Illinois workplace lawyer Illinois traffic accident lawyer automated cars disability benefits insurance denials products liability Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys slip and fall accidents Palatine construction attorney financial advisors car collision pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality DGAA Buffalo Grove traffic attorney dynasty trusts employee misclassification Barrington business law firm Buffalo Grove employment lawyer healthcare operating agreements Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer marijuana crimes attorney Inverness accident lawyer bike accident caretaker rights insurance claims South Barrington real estate attorney rollover accidents Arlington Heights accident attorney Legal Info wage theft Barrington employment attorney Illinois trusts attorney Palatine civil attorney BAC Arlington Heights real estate lawyer DUI car crashes personal injury accidents marijuana estate plan Illinois workplace discrimination attorney Inverness elder law lawyer Illinois employment law attorneys estate tax Schaumburg elder law lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney taxes comparative negligence elder abuse drug possession homestead rights changes to mortgage law Kenilworth estate planning attorneys insurance claim dispute Schaumburg estate planning lawyer Arlington Heights car crash attorneys nursing home negligence Schaumburg injury lawyer jet ski accidents mass shooting Arlington Heights Attorney Chicago corporate attorney Illinois DUI attorney digital assets foreclosed rental property Palatine drug lawyer breach of contract life insurance claims overtime pay Jay Andrew Illinois probate lawyer defective products insurance agents Fair Labor Standards Act investment property Kenilworth estate planning lawyer Schaumburg probate attorney Illinois medical malpractice case DMV Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Family Medical Leave Act insurance dispute attorney insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Palatine trusts lawyer living trust personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Chicago lawyer landlord tenant law criminal record Rolling Meadows traffic attorney Palatine probate lawyer Illinois personal injury Inverness probate lawyer Arlington Heights trucking lawyer Inverness DUI lawyer Kenilworth estate planning attorney traumatic brain injuries Palatine employment attorney foreclosure real estate attorney Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer car crash Deer Park accident attorney eluding a police officer denied insurance claims back injuries Crystal Lake accident attorney right to work insurance negligence estate planning for college students elder law Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer income distribution deducation commercial real estate Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer mortgage Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Illinois insurance disputes loopholes Schaumburg personal injury lawyer product liability Crystal Lake pet attorney Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission trust payments icy parking lots Buffalo Grove real estate attorney Palatine employment law lawyer Barrington medical malpractice lawyers insurance claim denial Chicago estate planning Barrington workers compensation attorney Des Plaines real estate attorney medical malpractice compensation underfunded trust Palatine business attorney traffic tickets low-ball insurance settlement Schaumburg personal injury lawyers car accidents denial of life insurance Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Illinois employee rights attorney. Illinois business law atorneys vacation home truck collisions traffic violations defense Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney life insurance Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act privacy laws Employment Discrimination Law Class A misdemeanor traffic deaths expungement food poisoning corporate law employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, unpaid assessment paid sick leave premises liability BAIID Illinois insurance claims lawyers Illinois registered agent employee rights Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm rest breaks traffic offenses life insurance policy job lawyers accidental death benefits Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys home inspection lawyer pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Des Plaines drug lawyer medical research insurance claim dispute attorney fiduciary rule Illinois pedestrian accident attorney Illinois rollover accident lawyers first degree murder advance healthcare directive trauma after an accident Illinois tax attorney Deer Park employment law attorney power of attorney hiring employees pedestrian-automobile accident drug crimes living trust benefits revenge porn preventing accidents Illinois medical malpractice claim Illinois mortgages workers compensation Barrington criminal defense lawyer rollover car crashes child safety power of attorney for healthcare living wills Colin H. Gilbert deadly crashes speeding privacy Illinois wills and trusts attorneys spinal cord injuries special needs trust license reinstatement Deer Park personal injury lawyer Self-Directed IRA Accounts cell phone accidents Rolling Meadows probate lawyer insurance dispute Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney Illinois employment law attorney Illinois traffic laws Barrington real estate lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney insurance denial appeals Crystal Lake injury attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer construction contracts Des Plaines personal injury lawyers insurance claim denials wrongful death personal injury medical malpractice Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney license revocation criminal law Crystal Lake law firm BUI distracted driving accident victims wrongful termination swimming pools Chicago estate planning lawyer Illinois estate planning rent to own real estate contracts Inverness real estate attorney LLCs real estate leasing healthcare claims Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Arlington Heights traffic attorney dram shop law Barrington civil litigation attorney criminal defense DUI penalities gift taxes Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Schaumburg Mount Prospect elder law attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys Illinois Human Rights Act uninsured motorist Barrington litigation attorney suspended license Inverness injury lawyer Illinois workers compensation lawyer Barrington personal injury attorney overtime violations Des Plaines pet law attorney Illinois corporate lawyer traumatic brain injury construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Des Plaines FSLA slip and fall guardianship attorney drugs Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer underinsured motorist fiduciary rule delay Illinois speeding lawyer bicycle dooring accidents Illinois living will Rolling Meadows accident lawyer estate planning Illinois real estate Long Grove real estate attorney motorcycle accident Inverness real estate lawyer denied insurance claim Rolling Meadows employment attorney installment contracts Illinois defective products attorney Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers blood alcohol content Illinois employment attorneys Des Plaines collections attorney pain and suffering capital gains tax Illinois small business Landlord Tenant Ordinance civil litigation car accident lawyers traffic violations caregiver meal breaks Deer Park traffic accident attorney liens ACA Illinois traffic attorneys crossover accidents Illinois Smoke Detector Act Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorney personal injury lawyer consent to a search boating DUI personal injury law firm Arlington Heights insurance attorney Inverness civil lawyer Illinois boating accident lawyer social media after death federal crimes Illinois employment law firm Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer traffic laws Affordable Care Act car accident Schaumburg estate planning attorney Illinois criminal defense attorney Arlington Heights criminal lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer whistleblower protections liability claims Fourth of July Des Plaines criminal attorney Palatine workers compensation lawyer Des Plaines civil attorney Schaumburg corporate attorney Illinois construction accident attorney estate attorney reckless homicide Joliet general practice lawyers Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers Illinois employment law Palatine corporate law attorneys drug crime Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer new real estate form Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Inverness corporate attorney sexual images deed transfer Chicago biking tips Deer Park real estate law firm Mount Prospect real estate lawyer GM ignition switches breathalyzer test Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Barrington Traffic Lawyer Illinois home inspection Illinois employment laws personal injury claim Rolling Meadows real estate attorney Schaumburg wrongful death attorney Illinois red light cameras digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, landlord Long Grove estate planning holiday statistics Palatine employment lawyer no contest clauses Illinois traffic ticket lawyer Illinois personal injury attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Palatine corporate attorney llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association insurance claim delay Arlington Heights employment law attorneys severance agreements employment law startup company Crystal Lake employment law attorney underage DUI estate planning lawyer Chicago will attorney Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer South Barrington real estate lawyer Policy Cancellation Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Illinois civil litigation lawyer dealing with problem employees Des Plaines DUI attorney Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers insurance disputes license Crystal Lake tax lawyer unpaid overtime Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer trench injuries condo association Illinois employment lawyer pet bites Palatine estate planning lawyer unauthorized overtime Des Plaines personal injury attorney Barrington personal injury lawyer Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Illinois wills and trusts Inverness estate planning lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Palatine civil litigation lawyer Illinois injury lawyer FMLA Palatine criminal defense lawyer Chicago attorney Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Palatine law firm Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Arlington Heights TBI attorney Crystal Lake will lawyer irrevocable trust federal regulations for LLCs Palatine elder law attorney Arlington Heights lawyer surgical mistakes pizza emoji Illinois job attorney Inverness traffic law firm Crystal Lake insurance lawyer driving Illinois personal injury lawyer Illinois driving without license Illinois Barrington estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney murder Rolling Meadows Attorney probate Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Palatine real estate lawyer Illinois car accident attorney Schaumburg personal injury attorney pay when paid contract Des Plaines real estate lawyer School Visitation Rights Act Barrington employment law firm Illinois wrongful termination lawyer IRS IRA benefits traffic crimes Home Sale Contingencies Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument institutional trustee Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer medical malpractice claims internet Illinois personal injury lawyers problem employees Colin Gilbert Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Illinois workers compensation attorney natural gas Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer head on collisions real estate zoning real estate contract Illinois medical malpractice attorney Detainer Actions estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Des Plaines insurance attorney manufacturing car accident lawyer Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Deer Park workers compensation lawyer compensatory time jet ski Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Chicago car accident lawyer coronavirus tax attorney field sobriety test Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Chicago trucking accident attorney personal injury attorney Illinois elder law attorney ken apicella independent contractor Illinois law traffic accidents bicycle accidents Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer Schaumburg drug defense lawyer hit and run accident Deer Park traffic lawyer minimum wage creditors drunk driving Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Illinois Trust Code DNR Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute cell phone senior citizens Illinois insurance dispute lawyers insurance adjusters attorney fees texting while driving workplace sexual harassment Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Illinois traffic attorney Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Illinois LLC creation pregnant women Barrington estate planning lawyer wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace fatal car accidents Schaumburg Attorney Chicago insurance law firm Palatine insurance lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney subcontractor insurance attorney involuntary manslaughter criminal commercial leasing blended families Illinois estate planning law firm digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers wills and trusts sole proprietorship boating accidents comp time college kids Illinois Sales Representative Act Schaumburg criminal law attorney Palatine punch death Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Inverness insurance attorney employment attorney Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers