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Quickly create your Illinois health care directive

You can complete FindLaw’s attorney-created health care directive forms in less than an hour at home. Our guided process takes you through a few easy steps and includes a free HIPAA release form. You’ll be able to download, print and sign your documents in no time.

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Illinois health care directive options to suit everyone

Health Care Directive

For One Person

A do-it-yourself health care directive that’s easy to personalize.

What’s included:
What’s included
Step-by-step guided process
A health care directive tailored to your needs
Attorney-approved document compliant with your state’s laws
Free HIPAA release form
Free changes and revisions to your document for up to a full year after purchase


Estate Planning Package

For One person

All the forms you need to create a personal estate plan

What’s included:
What’s included
Last will and testament
Health care directive
Power of attorney
Free HIPAA release form
A comprehensive plan — for less
Free changes and revisions for up to one year after purchase

Still not sure what estate planning tools you need?

Reliable Illinois health care directives from the comfort of home

If you are ever diagnosed with a terminal condition and cannot communicate, your loved ones and medical staff might struggle to decide which treatments to administer and which to withhold on your behalf. With a health care directive, you can give clear instructions on your treatment choices in the event that you become unable to make health care decisions for yourself. This can help to prevent strife among family members and empowers you to accept or refuse future medical care as you see fit.


Written by:

Kimberly Lekman, Esq.

Contributing Author

Reviewed by:

John Devendorf, Esq.

Contributing Author

How it works

Create your health care directive in under an hour

Create an account

Create a secure account which is accessible through an easy dashboard you can access any time

Gather information

Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy, which treatments you would request or refuse and release your records

Complete your document

Answer all questions, then we’ll generate your digital documents for downloading, printing, and signing

Make it legal

Print and sign your document according to instructions. Give copies to your doctors and agent/proxy

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Plan for your future with confidence

This free guide will help you:

  • Learn the most common estate planning terms

  • Understand the essential estate planning tools

  • Gather critical information with an estate planning checklist

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What’s next to validate my Illinois health care directive?

Follow these steps:

Make decisions about your medical treatments

A health care directive is a legal document that allows you to make decisions about your potential medical treatments in advance. It is also known as a type of advance directive or living will.

In your health care directive, you will need to specify whether you would choose the administration or withdrawal of death-delaying procedures in the event that you were suffering from a terminal, incurable condition. This would include any procedures that simply serve to prolong the natural dying process, such as artificial hydration, artificial nutrition, breathing tubes, and others. Of course, these are difficult medical decisions, and can be unpleasant to consider. If you struggle with your choices, it may help to talk them over with loved ones and a trusted doctor.

Sign your health care directive

According to the Illinois Living Will Act, you need to sign your health care directive or direct someone to sign it for you. You should have two adult witnesses present at the time of signing who should also sign.

Distribute your health care directive

After signing your document, you need to make sure to provide your close family members with a copy. You should also give your health care directive to your healthcare providers. If you named an agent through a healthcare power of attorney, be sure to provide your agent with a copy too.

As a contingency plan, you may want to consider storing your document in an online living will registry. These online databases allow your health care providers to access your health care directive in case of an emergency medical situation at any time day or night.

Update your health care directive

You should review your health care directive from time to time to make sure it continues to accurately reflect your medical preferences. You should review it when you go through significant life changes too.

Major life events that might make you reconsider your estate plan would include a new diagnosis, a divorce, an interstate move, or a simple change of heart. If you purchase a health care directive through FindLaw, you can relax knowing that you can make unlimited updates to your document for a full year after purchase.

You may want to speak with a lawyer if:

  • Your family disagrees with your medical choices
  • You don’t know who to appoint as your agent
  • You have questions about life prolonging measures
  • You want legal review of your completed document
Find a local estate planning lawyer

Ready to start your Illinois health care directive?

Create my health care directive

Frequently asked questions about Illinois health care directives

last will and testament (a “will”) is the primary estate planning document. You can use a will to provide for the distribution of your assets after your death. If you have minor children, you can name guardians for them in your will.

Unlike a will, a living will, also known as a health care directive, is only valid during your lifetime. You can use a health care directive to describe your health care wishes during your lifetime, but not to distribute your assets after your death. A comprehensive estate plan may include both a will and a health care directive to cover both asset distribution and health care decisions.

Your document must meet a few basic requirements to be considered legally valid in Illinois:

  • Mental Capacity: You must be of sound mind when you sign your health care directive
  • Writing: Your document must be in writing, either in hard copy or electronic form
  • Signature: you must sign your health care directive or direct someone to sign your name for you
  • Witnesses: There must be two adult witnesses present when you sign your document. They should then sign the document too.
  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old or an emancipated person

Note that updates to Illinois law now make it possible to create a legally valid electronic health care directive. But you still need to be careful to comply with the rules on signatures and witnessing to ensure that you have created a valid legal document. It is a good idea to create a physical copy of your document on paper and sign it in front of two witnesses. This creates a backup in case any medical providers or loved ones have trouble accessing an electronic copy.

Yes, a health care directive from another state is valid in Illinois if it complies with the laws of the state where it was created or with Illinois’ laws.

Although an out-of-state health care directive may be valid in Illinois, it’s a good idea to update your estate plan when you complete an interstate move. This will help to ensure that your will, health care directive, and other estate planning documents comply with state laws and reflect your current preferences.

In Illinois, health care directives only become effective in the event that you are diagnosed with a terminal medical condition. This is defined as an irreversible condition that will lead to imminent death unless health care staff apply artificial life-sustaining procedures.

In other words, a health care directive does not become operative if you are suffering with a condition that has a good prognosis of recovery. Your medical providers should only act on the instructions in your health care directive if you are facing a terminal prognosis.

Under Illinois law, you can revoke your health care directive in several ways. To perform a revocation, you may:

  • Tear up, burn, or otherwise physically destroy the document.
  • Verbally declare your intention to revoke your health care directive in the presence of an adult witness.
  • Create a written revocation of your health care directive. You must sign and date this revocation or direct someone to do so on your behalf.
  • For an electronic document, delete the health care directive with the intention to revoke.

Although the law technically permits a verbal revocation, you should only do so if you have no other option. It is much easier to cast doubt on the authenticity of a spoken declaration than a written one. A verbal revocation also requires your adult witness to create a signed and dated record of the revocation. If you must revoke verbally, make sure to choose a witness who you trust to create the proper written record.

If you purchase your health care directive through FindLaw, you can make unlimited changes for a year after purchase. These changes serve as effective revocations to your previous health care directives. Whenever you revoke your health care directive or create a new one, you should inform your loved ones and health care providers of this fact. If you stored your document with a living will registry, you should make sure to contact them to remove or replace the revoked document.

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