NASGA is pleased to announce the introduction of HB5573 to the Illinois Legislature by Representative David Harris (53rd District).
HB5573 protects the validity of previously properly and legally executed Power of Attorney (PoA) and Advance Directives, stating in clear and concise language that these documents shall stand --only to be overturned if undue influence in the creation of the document(s) is proven at a due process hearing conducted for that purpose.
Representative Harris consulted and worked with NASGA member and Director, Sylvia Rudek on this bill. Addressing the problems with PoA and Advance Directives is essential to guardianship reform because many NASGA members have been designated as PoA for their loved one, only to have their PoA wrongfully ignored by the court and a guardianship forced upon their loved one instead. In most cases, the guardian is a third-party - a total stranger who does not have a personal relationship with the ward nor an intimate knowledge of the ward's preferences or needs.
Strengthening Power of Attorney and Advance Directives is one of the best ways to avoid guardianship. Avoiding guardianship is one of the best ways to stop guardianship abuse.
NASGA very much appreciates the hard work and effort Representative Harris, his staff, and NASGA Director Sylvia Rudek have dedicated to the making of this bill, and we look forward to its passing.
SYNOPSIS AS INTRODUCED:
Amends the Probate Act of 1975. Provides that guardianship of a disabled adult may not be used in a retaliatory manner or as a convenience for a health care provider or family member. Provides that no petition for guardianship shall seek relief that is in conflict with any properly and previously executed will, trust, power of attorney, durable power of attorney, health care directive, advance directive, or other directive unless undue influence is proven in the creation of the document, by clear and convincing evidence, at a hearing conducted under the rules of civil procedure of this State.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE PROPOSED LEGISLATION:
Representative Harris (R) is a retired senior army officer. He served as a State Representative in the 1980s and 1990s. He left state government in 1992 and became the Senior Vice President of the Illinois Hospital Association.
He returned to government service in 1999 as The Adjutant General (Commanding General) of the Illinois National Guard. He was inducted into the Ft. Benning (GA) Infantry OCS Hall of Fame in 2002, and he retired from the Army as a federally-recognized Major General in 2003 after 33 years of service. He serves as the Chair of the Governing Council of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Harris is a Life Member of the Association of the US Army, the Military Officers Association of America, the National Guard Association of the US, and the Illinois National Guard Association. He lives in Arlington Heights with his wife, Michelle, and they have two grown sons.