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Semmelman Law Blog

Latest news about Estate Planning, Administration, Wills & Trusts, Business Law, and Real Estate


Young Adults Should Have Powers of Attorney for Healthcare

David Semmelman - Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Young adults often feel that they are “invincible”. This feeling gives them the courage to take on challenges and adventures that a more experienced adult may find daunting. The sense of invincibility can cause young people to not consider giving a parent or other older adult power of attorney to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they are unable to do so. There are a number of reasons why a young adult should have a health care power of attorney.

1. They Really Are Not Invincible. We would love it if bad things never happened to our adult children. Unfortunately, there are times when they are injured or become ill. If the injury or illness is so severe that they are not able to make informed medical decisions they will need someone to make those decisions on their behalf. The primary purpose of a power of attorney for health care is to allow an adult child to designate someone to make medical decisions for him or her in the event, and at such time as he or she is unable to do so. If there is no power of attorney for health care certain treatments may be denied or delayed.

2. Organ Donation. A health care power of attorney allows the person giving the power of attorney (the “principal”) the opportunity to state his or her preferences in regard to organ donation including whether any, and which organs or tissues should be donated. Without a health care power of attorney we may not know our children’s position on organ donation.

3. Medical Information. A health care power of attorney authorizes the person to whom power of attorney is given (the “agent”) access to medical records. Young adults sometimes need guidance in important areas such as health care. Full access to medical information, that might otherwise be denied because of HIPPA, equips the agent to offer such guidance.

4. End of Life. A health care power of attorney allows the principal the opportunity to state his or her preferences in regard to life sustaining treatments in the event of a terminal situation. It is unlikely that a young adult would have formally expressed those preferences in any other document. Under such dire circumstances the family may have some comfort knowing that they were following the wishes of the person in the terminal condition.

Prepared by: David A. Semmelman, JD, CPA

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Overview of Advance Directives

Kimberly Wisneski - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

What are they and do I need them?

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Status Update: Frozen at Conception

David Semmelman - Monday, June 29, 2015

You may recall seeing our November, 2014 article about a custody battle over frozen embryos. At the time of the article the case had gone up to the Illinois appellate court for a second time. The appellate court recently found in favor of Karla, the woman seeking to use the frozen embryos to have a child over the objection of her former boyfriend, Jacob. Read More >

​The NEW Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care

Kimberly Wisneski - Wednesday, January 28, 2015

 The first of January seems like the right date to unveil a makeover. Even a legislative one! The Illinois Power of Attorney for Health Care statute has been amended effective January 1, 2015. The idea behind the changes was to make the power of attorney form more “user friendly” and understandable to the average person. The statutory form has been reformatted to follow a Q&A style and contain points for thought and discussion in the Notice section of the document. Other changes have been made which include additional witness restrictions, more limited life-sustaining treatment options available to the principal, and the elimination of organ donation options. Read More >

​Frozen At Conception: Will There Be A Happy Ending?

David Semmelman - Thursday, November 13, 2014

 To preserve the possibility of future progeny many couples are using in vitro fertilization to create embryos that are then frozen. Those frozen embryos can be implanted many years later. Freezing embryos is very popular. Those in the industry estimate that there are currently up to one million embryos in storage. Read More >

November Newsletter 2014

Kimberly Wisneski - Thursday, November 13, 2014

Click hereto view the November newsletter Read More >


Kimberly Wisneski - Wednesday, November 12, 2014

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them  -   John Fitzgerald Kennedy

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Pet Trusts

David Semmelman - Thursday, August 14, 2014

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