On September 24, 2014, Illinois enacted changes to its Power of Attorney Act to “simplify” the healthcare power of attorney form. Estate planning attorneys have been watching this legislation wind its way through our system since it was proposed, hoping that it would die. The change went into effect on January 1, 2015. A few points to ponder and reasons why now, more than before, lawyers are needed to prepare advanced directives:
1. No standard form is required. So in medical emergencies, doctors must use their own judgment about a legal form.
2. The notice page that makes the form legal is FIVE PAGES long.
3. The form can be “included” or “combined” with the statutory property power of attorney. Do you really want your banker to know about your private health matters?
4. The changes remove actual provisions regarding choice of agent… OK…so that’s misleading – that guidance is somewhere in the FIVE PAGE notice.
5. The changes remove privacy language that reflects actual U.S. statutory privacy laws for medical practitioners and third parties.
Happy Halloween…NOT! Read more here…