Advance Healthcare Planning
Illinois Advance Directive

Illinois Advance Directive


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

March 17, 2023

10 Mins


When a person chooses to make a Living Will, along with the Medical Power of Attorney, these two legal documents become an Advance Directive. 

An Advance Directive may include your sign, names of witnesses, their signatures, etc. in adherence to your state’s requirements. Every state has different requirements to be followed. Some states ask for witnesses and notaries, others look for different criteria to be followed. 

Likewise, some states consider Living Will and Advance Directive as different and separate documents, whereas others consider both documents the same. In some states, Living Will and Advance Directive are used interchangeably. 

In this article, you will get a complete guide for making an Advance Directive for Healthcare in Illinois.  

Legal Requirements for a valid Advance Directive

  • Written by the grantor (maker of Advance Directive): Yes
  • Grantor must be:
  • Above the age of 18 years: Yes
  • Sound mind and memory: Yes
  • Signed by the grantor: Yes (You may sign your document by hand or electronically)
  • Signed by Proxy/Agent: No
  • Proxy/agent accepts his role in writing: No
  • Witness required: Yes
  • Number of witnesses: 1/2
  • Signed by the witnesses: Yes
  • Number of documents required: 1/2 (If you name a health care agent and leave health care instructions, your wishes will be combined into a single Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care form.)
  • Other names for a Living Will: Declaration
  • Other names for a Healthcare Power of attorney: Durable Power of attorney for healthcare
  • Proxy can decide on mental health issues: Yes
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Who can be your witnesses in the Illinois Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your witness in Illinois if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Note: Your witness cannot be: 

  • Your healthcare proxy/agent, or agent’s parent, sibling, or descendant, or any of their spouses,  
  • your supervising health care provider/ his employee, advanced practice nurse, physician assistant, dentist, podiatric physician, optometrist, or mental health service provider or a relative thereof, and
  • the owner, operator, an employee or a relative thereof of a healthcare facility where you are getting treatment and care.
Illinois Advance Directive

Who can be your Proxy in the Illinois Advance Directive?

Anyone can be your Proxy/Agent in Illinois if;

  • He is an adult i.e., above 18 years of age, and
  • He is a sound-minded person which means that he can understand the consequences of making an Advance Directive and the laws applied to it.

Who cannot be your Proxy/Agent:

  • a person who is your attending physician or supervising health care provider at the time you execute the Advance Directive.

Other than the above legal requirements, the Proxy/Agent should be:

  • Trustable to adhere to your wishes and intentions.
  • Trustable to defend you if there’s any disagreement about your medical care.
  • He wanted to be your Attorney in Fact of his own free will to take care of your health affairs.
  •  He should not be your doctor or one of the caretakers.

Note: You can appoint an Alternate Proxy as well. The alternative Proxy/Agent will step in if the first person you name as a proxy is unable, unwilling, or unavailable to act for you or if you decide to revoke his authority.

What decisions can your agent make?

(i) talk with physicians and other health care providers about your condition. 

(ii) see medical records and approve who else can see them. 

(iii) give permission for medical tests, medicines, surgery, or other treatments. 

(iv) choose where you receive care and which physicians and others provide it. 

(v) decide to accept, withdraw, or decline treatments designed to keep you alive if you are near death or not likely to recover. You may choose to include guidelines and/or restrictions to your agent's authority. 

(vi) agree or decline to donate your organs or your whole body if you have not already made this decision yourself. This could include donations for transplant, research, and/or education. You should let your agent know whether you are registered as a donor in the First Person Consent registry maintained by the Illinois Secretary of State or whether you have agreed to donate your whole body for medical research and/or education. 

(vii) decide what to do with your remains after you have died, if you have not already made plans. 

(viii) talk with your other loved ones to help come to a decision (but your designated agent will have the final say over your other loved ones).

Notarization required for Illinois Advance Directive?

Under Illinois state laws you do not need to notarize the Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.

Learn about the requirements of Illinois Last Will and Testament and Illinois Last Will and Testament Template. 

When does an Advance Directive come into effect in Illinois?

In Illinois, an Advance Directive becomes legally valid but doesn’t come into effect on signing the form by the grantor, proxy, and witnesses. 

An Advance directive comes into effect only when the doctor declares that you are incapable of deciding on your behalf and have become debilitated due to illness or injury.

How can an Advance Directive be revoked?

You can revoke or terminate your Illinois Advance Directive anytime by:

  • A written revocation,
  • An oral revocation,
  • Tearing, burning, and obliterating or destroying the document in any other way,
  • Executing a new Advance Directive, and
  • An electronic declaration, by deleting in a manner indicating the intention to revoke.

You or another person acting at your direction may make changes in your power of attorney for health care at any time by a written amendment signed and dated.

You may also choose a delayed revocation, this will create a 30-day waiting period such that your revocation of your power of attorney will not take effect until 30 days after you voice the intent to revoke. For your reference you can check the sample form below:


[    ] I elect to delay revocation of this power of attorney for 30 days after I communicate my intent to revoke it. 

[    ] I elect for the revocation of this power of attorney to take effect immediately if I communicate my intent to revoke it. 


[   ] I am at least 18 years old. (check one of the options below):  

[   ] I saw the principal sign this document, or  the principal told me that the signature or mark on the principal signature line is his or hers.

Witness printed name: 

Witness address: 

Witness signature: 

Today's date:

How to amend or change an Advance Directive? 

You can make changes or amend your Advance Directive at any time in Illinois but once you have signed and witnessed/notarized it you have to remake a new document with the required changes. It is recommended to go through, double-check, and make sure of everything before signing the Advance Directive.

Document 1: Power of Attorney for Healthcare

You can fill this form out and provide all the details. The appointment of the Healthcare Proxy/Agent and his details will be filled along with the instructions for the Proxy/Agent to follow.

Indiana Advance Directive Sample Form


Patient Last Name Patient First Name Patient Middle Initial Patient Birthday (mm/dd/yyyy) Medical Record Number of HealthcareFacility or Provider (optional) Healthcare Facility or Provider (optional) 

Appointment of Health Care Representative I, being at least eighteen (18) years of age, of sound mind, and capable of consenting to my health care, hereby appoint the person(s)................................................................................................................. To the extent appropriate, my health care representative may also discuss this decision with my family and others to the extent they are available. 

I specify the following terms and conditions (if any): 

Name of Representative Appointed 

Address of Representative 

(number and street, city, state, and ZIP code) 

Telephone Number of Representative Signature of Patient / Appointor or Designee 

(must be signed in the appointor’s presence) 

Printed Name of Patient / Appointor or Designee Date of Appointment (mm/dd/yyyy) 

Signature of Witness 

Printed Name of Witness Date (mm/dd/yyyy)

Document 2: Declaration

This section states your wishes regarding medical care when your doctor determines that either 

  • that you are terminally ill and to prolong artificially your life you would need artificial life-sustaining procedures or your death will occur with or without the use of life-sustaining procedures, or 
  • that you are in a persistent vegetative state.

On the left side, you will find a gray box that contains all the instructions that will help you in the application process. 

Indiana Advance Directive Sample Form


DECLARATION This declaration is made this day of (month, year). 

I, 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………………..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 has been personally known to me and I believe (him/her) to be of sound mind. 

I am competent and at least eighteen (18) years of age. 

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,_________ Date (month, day, year) 

Witness,__________ Date (month, day, year)

Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent, doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy, and anyone else who might become involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have photocopies of your document placed in your medical records. 

Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family, and friends about your wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often, particularly if your medical condition changes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Advance Healthcare Directive Illinois?

An Advance Directive is a legal-written document about your future medical care. It is a gift to family members and friends so that they won't have to guess what you want if you no longer can speak for yourself.

Does an attorney have to draft an advance directive in Illinois?

The procedure of creating advance directives is simple, you do not require an attorney though you may choose to consult one. However, an advance directive either it is written or oral needs to be witnessed by two individuals.

Who makes medical decisions if you are incapacitated in Illinois?

Under Illinois law, incapacity means when a physician declares that the individual can longer give informed consent. Any person may designate someone to make health care decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated in Illinois.

What are the 2 major challenges with advance directives?

Advance directives have limitations. For example, an older adult may not fully understand treatment options or recognize the consequences of certain choices in the future. Sometimes, people change their minds after expressing advance directives and forget to inform others.

How do I get a medical power of attorney in Illinois?

It is the same as creating a document of Advance Directive. Firstly, choose Your Surrogate/Acting Agent, be specific on what decisions your Power of Attorney can make for you, and fill out your Illinois Medical Power of Attorney Form. Lastly, sign your document before subscribing to witnesses and a Notary Public.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Attorney. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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