Estate Planning: Helping Protect Your Interests

Knowing What the Patient Wants: Healthcare Directive, Living Will, and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

Misty A. Watson

Misty A. Watson




The issue of exhaustive yet routine and expensive medical treatment versus quality of life for patients at end-of-life has been a hot topic in the media recently. The St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a series of articles including “Woman’s 6-month decline highlights end-of-life care quandary.” The June addition for Time Magazine featured “The Long Goodbye.”

Both articles focus on family members deciding how much care is appropriate and what happens when medical care results in a quality of life that the recipient of the care may not have wanted.

What is apparent from these articles is that end of life issues are difficult to discuss with family members. As a result, individuals often lack the motivation to consult with counsel to make sure that their wishes regarding their medical care – particularly at end-of-life – are expressed in writing.

An individual may end up receiving long, drawn out treatment and a quality of life they did not desire.

Healthcare Directives, Living Wills, and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)

In both of the examples, the families were aware of the wishes of the family member to some extent, and had even taken some measures to make appropriate decisions regarding their care. Continue reading »

Illinois Changes Its Power of Attorney Laws

Patrick J. Murphy

Patrick J. Murphy




The revised Illinois Power of Attorney Act, 755 ILCS 45/2-1 et seq. provides greater protection to principals. These revisions are designed to minimize abuses of the elderly, incapacitated and disabled persons by their agents serving under powers of attorney. House Bill 6477, the new state bill containing the changes, was passed by both houses and signed into law by Governor Quinn on July 26, 2010. The effective date for the changes is July 1, 2011. All powers of attorney which were validly executed prior to this date will continue to remain effective.

A few highlights of the changes to this Act are: Continue reading »