Declarations for Mental Health Treatment

Declaration for mental health treatment

Declarations for Mental Health Treatment

                Preparing for the worst isn’t always easy, but it is sensible. The Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration Act is an easy way to prepare for an unfortunate event that may leave an individual “incapable.” The Act seeks to provide peace of mind to people who may have certain requests or instructions about how their medical treatment should be provided if they are determined to be incapable. In the paragraphs below, we have outlined some of the details and benefits of the Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration Act in order to help you better understand just how useful a declaration for mental health treatment may be.

  The Basics

                 Completing a declaration for mental health treatment is an easy way to curb any anxieties about how your medical treatment will be provided in the event that you are determined to be incapable; but what does it mean to be “incapable?” What exactly is “mental health treatment?”

                Incapable means “a person’s ability to receive and evaluate information effectively or communicate decisions is impaired to such an extent that the person currently lacks the capacity to make mental health treatment decisions.” (755 ILCS 43/5).  

                Mental health treatment includes “electroconvulsive treatment, treatment of mental illness with psychotropic medication, and admission to and retention in a mental health facility for a period not to exceed 17 days for care or treatment of mental illness.” (755 ILCS 43/5).

                So, the Act allows an individual to determine certain aspects of how their treatment will be provided if they become incapable. Great, but who will enforce the declaration if the principal is incapable? A declaration for mental health allows the principal—the individual making the declaration—to designate an “attorney-in-fact.” An attorney-in-fact is a competent adult who will make decisions on behalf of the principal. Any decision made by the attorney-in-fact must be consistent with the principal’s declaration.

The Benefits

                 The main benefit to a declaration for mental health treatment is having peace of mind that your requests will be followed. A declaration for mental health treatment allows the principal to state preferences or instructions on treatment, consent to treatment, refuse treatment, and much more. The principal’s declaration will be followed to the fullest extent possible and, upon being presented with a declaration, a medical provider is required to make the declaration a part of the principal’s medical record.

                Another benefit of a declaration for mental health treatment is that the principal is free to revoke the declaration in whole or in part by a written statement. This allows individuals the freedom to change their declarations at will. Principals are not bound to the declaration forever and, if a principal does not make changes to their declaration, the declaration expires and must be re-declared after three years.

Is It Really That Easy?

                 Yes! With the help of the skilled attorneys at Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC in Libertyville, you can complete a declaration for mental health treatment right now. Our attorneys can help with a general declaration for mental health, or they can create a declaration for mental health as a part of an estate plan. The benefit of creating an estate plan with a declaration for mental health is that you can also include other health directives in your estate plan. If you are interested in making a declaration for mental health treatment, want to know more about incorporating a declaration for mental health treatment into your estate, or want to learn about other health directives in Illinois, call Johnston Tomei Lenczycki & Goldberg LLC in Libertyville, today. Our attorneys are prepared for anything, and you should be too!

Call the Libertyville Estate Planning Lawyers at JTLG LLC Now