Illinois Power of Attorney Act

755 ILCS 45 ILLINOIS POWER OF ATTORNEY ACT

Note: Included here are portions of Articles I, II and IV of the Illinois Power of Attorney Act.

ARTICLE I – SHORT TITLE.
Sec. 1-1. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the “Illinois Power of Attorney Act”.

ARTICLE II – DURABLE POWERS OF ATTORNEY.
Sec. 2-1. Purpose. The General Assembly recognizes that each individual has the right to appoint an agent to deal with property or make personal and health care decisions for the individual but that this right cannot be fully effective unless the principal may empower the agent to act throughout the principal’s lifetime, including during periods of disability, and be sure that third parties will honor the agent’s authority at all times.
The General Assembly finds that in the light of modern financial needs and advances in medical science, the statutory recognition of this right of delegation in Illinois needs to be restated to, among other things, expand its application and the permissible scope of the agent’s authority, clarify the power of the individual to authorize an agent to make financial and care decisions for the individual and better protect health care personnel and other third parties who rely in good faith on the agent so that reliance will be assured. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to authorize or encourage euthanasia, suicide or any action or course of action that violates the criminal law of this State or the United States. Similarly, nothing in this Act shall be deemed to authorize or encourage any violation of a civil right expressed in the Constitution, statutes, case law and administrative rulings of this State (including, without limitation, the right of conscience respected and protected by the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, as now or hereafter amended) or the United States or any action or course of action that violates the public policy expressed in the Constitution, statutes, case law and administrative rulings of this State or the United States.

Sec. 2-2. Short Title. This Article shall be known and may be cited as the “Durable Power of Attorney Law”.

Sec. 2-3. Definitions. As used in this Act:
(a) “Agency” means the written power of attorney or other instrument of agency governing the relationship between the principal and agent or the relationship, itself, as appropriate to the context, and includes agencies dealing with personal or health care as well as property. An agency is subject to this Act to the extent it may be controlled by the principal, excluding agencies and powers for the benefit of the agent.
(b) “Agent” means the attorney-in-fact or other person designated to act for the principal in the agency.
(c) “Disabled person” has the same meaning as in the “Probate Act of 1975″, as now or hereafter amended. To be under a “disability” or “disabled” means to be a disabled person.
(d) “Person” means an individual, corporation, trust, partnership or other entity, as appropriate to the agency.
(e) “Principal” means an individual (including, without limitation, an individual acting as trustee, representative or other fiduciary) who signs a power of attorney or other instrument of agency granting powers to an agent.

Sec. 2-4. Applicability. (a) The principal may specify in the agency the event or time when the agency will begin and terminate, the mode of revocation or amendment and the rights, powers, duties, limitations, immunities and other terms applicable to the agent and to all persons dealing with the agent, and the provisions of the agency will control notwithstanding this Act, except that every health care agency must comply with Section 4-5 of this Act.
(b) From and after the effective date of this Act: (1) this Act governs every agency, whenever and wherever executed, and all acts of the agent to the extent the provisions of this Act are not inconsistent with the agency; and (2) this Act applies to all agencies exercised in Illinois and to all other agencies if the principal is a resident of Illinois at the time the agency is signed or at the time of exercise or if the agency indicates that Illinois law is to apply. Providing forms of statutory property and health care powers in Articles III and IV does not limit the applicability of this Act, it being intended that every agency, including, without limitation, the statutory property and health care power agencies, shall have the benefit of and be governed by Article II, by Sections 4-1 through 4-9 and Section 4-11 of Article IV, and by all other general provisions of this Act, except to the extent the terms of the agency are inconsistent with this Act.

Sec. 2-5. Duration of agency – amendment and revocation. Unless the agency states an earlier termination date, the agency continues until the death of the principal, notwithstanding any lapse of time, the principal’s disability or incapacity or appointment of a guardian for the principal after the agency is signed. Every agency may be amended or revoked by the principal at any time and in any manner communicated to the agent or to any other person related to the subject matter of the agency, except that revocation and amendment of health care agencies are governed by Section 4-6 of this Act except to the extent the terms of the agencies are inconsistent with that Section.

Sec. 2-6. Effect of disability-divorce. (a) All acts of the agent within the scope of the agency during any period of disability, incapacity or incompetency of the principal have the same effect and inure to the benefit of and bind the principal and his or her successors in interest as if the principal were competent and not disabled.
(b) If a court enters a judgement of dissolution of marriage or legal separation between the principal and his or her spouse after the agency is signed, the spouse shall be deemed to have died at the time of the judgment for all purposes of the agency.

Sec. 2-7. Duty – standard of care – record-keeping – exoneration. The agent shall be under no duty to exercise the powers granted by the agency or to assume control of or responsibility for any of the principal’s property, care or affairs, regardless of the principal’s physical or mental condition. Whenever a power is exercised, the agent shall use due care to act for the benefit of the principal in accordance with the terms of the agency and shall be liable for negligent exercise. An agent who acts with due care for the benefit of the principal shall not be liable or limited merely because the agent also benefits from the act, has individual or conflicting interests in relation to the property, care or affairs of the principal or acts in a different manner with respect to the agency and the agent’s individual interests. The agent shall keep a record of all receipts, disbursements, and significant actions taken under the agency. The agent shall not be affected by any amendment or termination of the agency until the agent has actual knowledge thereof. The agent shall not be liable for any loss due to error of judgment nor for the act or default of any other person.

Sec. 2-7.5. Incapacitated principal.
(a) This Section shall apply only to an agent acting for a principal who is incapacitated. A principal shall be considered incapacitated if that individual is under a legal disability as defined in Section 11a-2 of the Probate Act of 1975. A principal shall also be considered incapacitated if: (i) a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches has examined the principal and has determined that the principal lacks decision making capacity; and (ii) that physician has made a written record of this determination and has signed the written record within 90 days after the examination; and (iii) the written record has been delivered to the agent. The agent may rely conclusively on that written record.
(b) An agent shall provide a record of all receipts, disbursements, and significant actions taken under the authority of the agency when requested to do so: (i) by a representative of a provider agency, as defined in Section 2 of the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, acting in the course of an assessment of a complaint of elder abuse or neglect under that Act; (ii) by a representative of the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman acting in the course of an investigation of a complaint of financial exploitation of a nursing home resident under Section 4.04 of the Illinois Act on the Aging; or (iii) by a representative of the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Human Services acting in the course of an assessment of a complaint of financial exploitation of an adult with disabilities pursuant to Section 35 of the Abuse of Adults with Disabilities Intervention Act.
(c) If the agent fails to provide his or her record of all receipts, disbursements, and significant actions within 21 days after a request under paragraph (b), the elder abuse provider agency or the State Long Term Care Ombudsman may petition the court for an order requiring the agent to produce his or her record of receipts, disbursements, and significant actions. If the court finds that the agent’s failure to provide his or her record in a timely manner to the elder abuse provider agency or the State Long Term Care Ombudsman was without good cause, the court may assess reasonable costs and attorney’s fees against the agent, and order such other relief as is appropriate.

Sec. 2-8. Reliance on document purporting to establish an agency. Any person who acts in good faith reliance on a copy of a document purporting to establish an agency will be fully protected and released to the same extent as though the reliant had dealt directly with the named principal as a fully-competent person. The named agent shall furnish an affidavit to the reliant on demand stating that the instrument relied on is a true copy of the agency and that, to the best of the named agent’s knowledge, the named principal is alive and the relevant powers of the named agent have not been altered or terminated; but good faith reliance on a document purporting to establish an agency will protect the reliant without the affidavit. Any person dealing with an agent named in a copy of a document purporting to establish an agency may presume, in the absence of actual knowledge to the contrary, that the document purporting to establish the agency was validly executed, that the agency was validly established, that the named principal was competent at the time of execution, and that, at the time of reliance, the named principal is alive, the agency was validly established and has not terminated or been amended, the relevant powers of the named agent were properly and validly granted and have not terminated or been amended, and the acts of the named agent conform to the standards of this Act. No person relying on a copy of a document purporting to establish an agency shall be required to see to the application of any property delivered to or controlled by the named agent or to question the authority of the named agent. Each person to whom a direction by the named agent in accordance with the terms of the copy of the document purporting to establish an agency is communicated shall comply with that direction, and any person who fails to comply arbitrarily or without reasonable cause shall be subject to civil liability for any damages resulting from noncompliance. A health care provider who complies with Section 4-7 shall not be deemed to have acted arbitrarily or without reasonable cause.

Sec. 2-9. Preservation of estate plan and trusts. In exercising powers granted under the agency, including powers of amendment or revocation and powers to expend or withdraw property passing by trust, contract or beneficiary designation at the principal’s death (such as, without limitation, specifically bequeathed property, joint accounts, life insurance, trusts and retirement plans), the agent shall take the principal’s estate plan into account insofar as it is known to the agent and shall attempt to preserve the plan, but the agent shall not be liable to any plan beneficiary under this Section unless the agent acts in bad faith. An agent may not revoke or amend a trust revocable or amendable by the principal or require the trustee of any trust for the benefit of the principal to pay income or principal to the agent without specific authority and specific reference to the trust in the agency. The agent shall have access to and the right to copy (but not to hold) the principal’s will, trusts and other personal papers and records to the extent the agent deems relevant for purposes of this Section. This Section shall not apply to any Totten Trust, Payable on Death Account, or comparable trust account arrangement where the terms of such trust are contained entirely on the financial institution’s signature card insofar as an agent acting under a power of attorney executed in accordance with this Act shall be permitted to withdraw income or principal from such account if the power of attorney grants the agent authority to conduct financial institution transactions on the principal’s behalf and the agent’s authority to access such account is not expressly limited or withheld in the agency.

Sec. 2-10. Agency-court relationship. Upon petition by any interested person (including the agent), with such notice to interested persons as the court directs and a finding by the court that the principal lacks the capacity to control or revoke the agency: (a) if the court finds that the agent is not acting for the benefit of the principal in accordance with the terms of the agency or that the agent’s action or inaction has caused or threatens substantial harm to the principal’s person or property in a manner not authorized or intended by the principal, the court may order a guardian of the principal’s person or estate to exercise any powers of the principal under the agency, including the power to revoke the agency, or may enter such other orders without appointment of a guardian as the court deems necessary to provide for the best interests of the principal; or (b) if the court finds that the agency requires interpretation, the court may construe the agency and instruct the agent, but the court may not amend the agency. Absent court order directing a guardian to exercise powers of the principal under the agency, a guardian will have no power, duty or liability with respect to any property subject to the agency or any personal or health care matters covered by the agency. Proceedings under this Section shall be commenced in the county where the guardian was appointed or, if no Illinois guardian is acting, then in the county where the agent resides or, if the agent does not reside in Illinois, then in any county.

Sec. 2-11. Saving clause. This Act does not in any way invalidate any agency executed or any act of any agent done, or affect any claim, right or remedy that accrued, prior to September 22, 1987.

ARTICLE IV – POWERS OF ATTORNEY FOR HEALTH CARE.

Sec. 4-1. Purpose. The General Assembly recognizes the right of the individual to control all aspects of his or her personal care and medical treatment, including the right to decline medical treatment or to direct that it be withdrawn, even if death ensues. The right of the individual to decide about personal care overrides the obligation of the physician and other health care providers to render care or to preserve life and health.
However, if the individual becomes disabled, her or his right to control treatment may be denied unless the individual, as principal, can delegate the decision making power to a trusted agent and be sure that the agent’s power to make personal and health care decisions for the principal will be effective to the same extent as though made by the principal.
The Illinois statutory recognition of the right of delegation for health care purposes needs to be restated to make it clear that its scope is intended to be as broad as the comparable right of delegation for property and financial matters. However, the General Assembly recognizes that powers concerning life and death and the other issues involved in health care agencies are more sensitive than property matters and that particular rules and forms are necessary for health care agencies to insure their validity and efficacy and to protect health care providers so that they will honor the authority of the agent at all times. For purposes of emphasis and their particular application to health care, the General Assembly restates the purposes and public policy announced in Article II, Section 2-1 of this Act as if those purposes and public policies were set forth verbatim in this Section.
In furtherance of these purposes, the General Assembly adopts this Article, setting forth general principles governing health care agencies and a statutory short form power of attorney for health care, intending that when a power in substantially the form set forth in this Article is used, health care providers and other third parties who rely in good faith on the acts and decisions of the agent within the scope of the power may do so without fear of civil or criminal liability to the principal, the State or any other person. However, the form of health care agency in this Article is not intended to be exclusive and other forms of powers of attorney chosen by the principal that comply with Section 4-5 of this Article may offer powers and protection similar to the statutory short form power of attorney for health care.

Sec. 4-2. Short Title. This Article shall be known and may be cited as the “Powers of Attorney for Health Care Law”.

Sec. 4-3. General principles. The health care powers that may be delegated to an agent include, without limitation, all powers an individual may have to be informed about and to consent to or refuse or withdraw any type of health care for the individual and all powers a parent may have to control or consent to health care for a minor child. A health care agency may extend beyond the principal’s death if necessary to permit anatomical gift, autopsy or disposition of remains. Nothing in this Article shall impair or supersede any legal right or legal responsibility which any person may have to effect the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining or death-delaying procedures in any lawful manner, and the provisions of this Article are cumulative in such respect.

Sec. 4-4. Definitions. As used in this Article:
(a) “Attending physician” means the physician who has primary responsibility at the time of reference for the treatment and care of the patient.
(b) “Health care” means any care, treatment, service or procedure to maintain, diagnose, treat or provide for the patient’s physical or mental health or personal care.
(c) “Health care agency” means an agency governing any type of health care, anatomical gift, autopsy or disposition of remains for and on behalf of a patient and refers to the power of attorney or other written instrument defining the agency or the agency, itself, as appropriate to the context.
(d) “Health care provider” or “provider” means the attending physician and any other person administering health care to the patient at the time of reference who is licensed, certified, or otherwise authorized or permitted by law to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or the practice of a profession, including any person employed by or acting for any such authorized person.
(e) “Patient” means the principal or, if the agency governs health care for a minor child of the principal, then the child.

Sec. 4-5. Limitations on health care agencies. Neither the attending physician nor any other health care provider may act as agent under a health care agency; however, a person who is not administering health care to the patient may act as health care agent for the patient even though the person is a physician or otherwise licensed, certified, authorized, or permitted by law to administer health care in the ordinary course of business or the practice of a profession.

Sec. 4-6. Revocation and amendment of health care agencies.
(a) Every health care agency may be revoked by the principal at any time, without regard to the principal’s mental or physical condition, by any of the following methods:
1. By being obliterated, burnt, torn or otherwise destroyed or defaced in a manner indicating intention to revoke;
2. By a written revocation of the agency signed and dated by the principal or person acting at the direction of the principal; or
3. By an oral or any other expression of the intent to revoke the agency in the presence of a witness 18 years of age or older who signs and dates a writing confirming that such expression of intent was made.
(b) Every health care agency may be amended at any time by a written amendment signed and dated by the principal or person acting at the direction of the principal.
(c) Any person, other than the agent, to whom a revocation or amendment is communicated or delivered shall make all reasonable efforts to inform the agent of that fact as promptly as possible.

Sec. 4-7. Duties of health care providers and others in relation to health care agencies. Each health care provider and each other person with whom an agent deals under a health care agency shall be subject to the following duties and responsibilities:
(a) It is the responsibility of the agent or patient to notify the health care provider of the existence of the health care agency and any amendment or revocation thereof. A health care provider furnished with a copy of a health care agency shall make it a part of the patient’s medical records and shall enter in the records any change in or termination of the health care agency by the principal that becomes known to the provider. Whenever a provider believes a patient may lack capacity to give informed consent to health care which the provider deems necessary, the provider shall consult with any available health care agent known to the provider who then has power to act for the patient under a health care agency.
(b) A health care decision made by an agent in accordance with the terms of a health care agency shall be complied with by every health care provider to whom the decision is communicated, subject to the provider’s right to administer treatment for the patient’s comfort care or alleviation of pain; but if the provider is unwilling to comply with the agent’s decision, the provider shall promptly inform the agent who shall then be responsible to make the necessary arrangements for the transfer of the patient to another provider. It is understood that a provider who is unwilling to comply with the agent’s decision will continue to afford reasonably necessary consultation and care in connection with the transfer.
(c) At the patient’s expense and subject to reasonable rules of the health care provider to prevent disruption of the patient’s health care, each health care provider shall give an agent authorized to receive such information under a health care agency the same right the principal has to examine and copy any part or all of the patient’s medical records that the agent deems relevant to the exercise of the agent’s powers, whether the records relate to mental health or any other medical condition and whether they are in the possession of or maintained by any physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, hospital, nursing home or other health care provider.
(d) If and to the extent a health care agency empowers the agent to (1) make an anatomical gift on behalf of the principal under the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act, as now or hereafter amended, or (2) authorize an autopsy of the principal’s body pursuant to Section 2 of “An Act in relation to autopsy of dead bodies”, approved August 13, 1965, as now or hereafter amended, or (3) direct the disposition of the principal’s remains, the decision by an authorized agent as to anatomical gift, autopsy approval or remains disposition shall be deemed the act of the principal and shall control over the decision of other persons who might otherwise have priority; and each person to whom a direction by the agent in accordance with the terms of the agency is communicated shall comply with such direction.

Sec. 4-8. Immunities of health care providers, agents and others in relation to health care agencies. Each health care provider and each other person who acts in good faith reliance on any direction or decision by the agent that is not clearly contrary to the terms of a health care agency (a “reliant”) will be protected and released to the same extent as though the reliant had dealt directly with the principal as a fully-competent person. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following specific principles shall also govern, protect and validate the acts of the agent and each reliant:
(a) No reliant shall be subject to any type of civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct for complying with any direction or decision by the agent, even if death or injury to the patient ensues.
(b) No reliant shall be subject to any type of civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct for failure to comply with any direction or decision by the agent that violates the reliant’s conscience rights, as long as the reliant promptly informs the agent of reliant’s refusal or failure to comply with such direction or decision by the agent. The agent shall then be responsible to make the necessary arrangements for the transfer of the patient to another provider. It is understood that a provider who is unwilling to comply with the agent’s decision will continue to afford reasonably necessary consultation and care in connection with the transfer.
(c) If the actions of a health care provider who fails to comply with any direction or decision by the agent are substantially in accord with reasonable medical standards at the time of reference and the provider cooperates in the transfer of the patient pursuant to subsection (b) of Section 4-7 of this Act, the provider shall not be subject to any type of civil or criminal liability or discipline for unprofessional conduct for failure to comply with the agent.
(d) No agent who in good faith acts with due care for the benefit of the patient and in accordance with the terms of a health care agency, or who fails to act, shall be subject to any type of civil or criminal liability for such action or inaction.
(e) If the patient’s death results from withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in accordance with the terms of a health care agency, the death shall not constitute a suicide or homicide for any purpose under any statute or other rule of law and shall not impair or invalidate any insurance, annuity or other type of contract that is conditioned on the life or death of the patient, any term of the contract to the contrary notwithstanding.

Sec. 4-9. Penalties. All persons shall be subject to the following sanctions in relation to health care agencies, in addition to all other sanctions applicable under any other law or rule of professional conduct:
(a) Any person shall be civilly liable who, without the principal’s consent, wilfully conceals, cancels or alters a health care agency or any amendment or revocation of the agency or who falsifies or forges a health care agency, amendment or revocation.
(b) A person who falsifies or forges a health care agency or wilfully conceals or withholds personal knowledge of an amendment or revocation of a health care agency with the intent to cause a withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining or death-delaying procedures contrary to the intent of the principal and thereby, because of such act, directly causes life-sustaining or death-delaying procedures to be withheld or withdrawn and death to the patient to be hastened shall be subject to prosecution for involuntary manslaughter.
(c) Any person who requires or prevents execution of a health care agency as a condition of insuring or providing any type of health care services to the patient shall be civilly liable and guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

Sec. 4-10. Statutory short form power of attorney for health care.
(a) The following form (sometimes also referred to in this Act as the “statutory health care power”) may be used to grant an agent powers with respect to the principal’s own health care; but the statutory health care power is not intended to be exclusive nor to cover delegation of a parent’s power to control the health care of a minor child, and no provision of this Article shall be construed to invalidate or bar use by the principal of any other or different form of power of attorney for health care. Nonstatutory health care powers must be executed by the principal, designate the agent and the agent’s powers, and comply with Section 4-5 of this Article, but they need not be witnessed or conform in any other respect to the statutory health care power. When a power of attorney in substantially the following form is used, including the “notice” paragraph at the beginning in capital letters, it shall have the meaning and effect prescribed in this Act. The statutory health care power may be included in or combined with any other form of power of attorney governing property or other matters.

Sec. 4-11. Applicability – inconsistent Acts. This Article applies to all health care providers and other persons in relation to all health care agencies on and after the effective date of this Article. This Article supersedes all other Illinois Acts or parts thereof existing on the effective date of this Article to the extent such other Acts are inconsistent with the terms and operation of this Article; provided, that this Article does not affect the law governing emergency health care. If the principal has a living will under the “Illinois Living Will Act”, as now or hereafter amended, the living will shall not be operative so long as an agent is available who is authorized by a health care agency to deal with the subject of life-sustaining or death-delaying procedures for and on behalf of the principal.

Sec. 4-12. Saving clause. This Act does not in any way invalidate any health care agency executed or any act of any agent done, or affect any claim, right or remedy that accrued, prior to September 22, 1987.

DISCLAIMER: Please Note: this page contains portions of the statutory text of the Illinois statute for Powers of Attorney for Health Care. The law is constantly changing and this text may not be the most up to date. This information is not suitable for any State other than the State of Illinois. No representations or warranties are made as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained on this page. Please consult a lawyer before taking ANY action.