Create Your Utah Health Care Directive and Living Will in Just Minutes
FindLaw, in partnership with experienced attorneys, has created health care directive and living will forms that you can complete quickly and easily without needing to leave the comfort of home. With FindLaw’s step-by-step process, you can get your attorney-approved Utah health care directive and living will in less than an hour.
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Utah Health Care Directives and Living Wills From the Comfort of Home
If you ever become seriously ill or injured, you may become unable to make your own health care decisions. If you do not have a health care directive and living will in place, your doctors and loved ones may then make medical choices for you that you would not have wanted. With a health care directive and living will, you can make treatment choices in advance of an incapacitating condition. This can give you peace of mind and may prevent conflicts among loved ones who have differences of opinion on your future medical care.
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How It Works
Create your health care directive & living will in under an hour.
Answer Some Questions
Decide who will be your health care agent/proxy and which medical treatments you would request or refuse.
Create an Account
Creating an account is easy, quick, and secure. Save your information as you go and return when you have time.
Complete Your Document
Once you answer the relevant questions, we do the hard part and create your unique document.
Sign & Make It Legal
Sign your document according to the instructions. Keep the signed form, and give a copy to your doctors and agent/proxy.
What’s Next To Make My Utah Health Care Directive and Living Will Valid?
Follow these steps: See full process
Make decisions on future health care issues.
Your health care directive and living will is a type of advance healthcare directive (“advance directive“). You can use it to make choices on potential future medical treatments as you see fit. In your health care directive and living will, you will decide whether you would request or refuse life-prolonging treatments and under what medical conditions. Life-prolonging treatments include things like artificial nutrition and hydration, dialysis, and more.
These choices are highly personal, and it can be unpleasant to consider them. But it may give you peace of mind to know that you have made your own choices regarding the provision or withdrawal of life-prolonging procedures in the event of a terminal or vegetative condition. If you have difficulty with these decisions, you may want to discuss them with your doctor or your loved ones.
Choose a health care agent.
In Utah, you have the option of choosing someone to make medical decisions for you in the event that you become unable to do so. The document you use to designate this person is called a health care power of attorney. This is another type of advance directive in addition to a health care directive and living will.
The person you choose to make health care decisions for you is called a health care agent. This person should be someone you trust with broad powers over your medical treatment. It’s a good idea to choose an alternate health care agent in case your first choice becomes unable to take on this role.
You should select a health care agent who understands your health care preferences and is willing to carry them out. Another consideration is whether this person will be able to be assertive with your family members and doctors to advocate for your medical care wishes. Many people choose a close loved one like a spouse, sibling, adult child, or parent for this role.
You should be aware that there are certain legal restrictions in this area. You may not choose the following individuals as your health care agent:
- Your health care provider
- An owner or operator of a health care facility where you receive care
- An employee of a health care facility where you are being treated
However, the above restrictions do not apply to anyone who is related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption.
Sign your health care directive and living will.
In Utah, there are strict requirements regarding the execution of health care directive and living wills. You should sign the document or direct someone to sign it for you. There must be at least one adult witness present at the time of signing. This person must also sign. According to Utah’s Advance Health Care Directive Act, the witness should be “disinterested.” In other words, they should not have anything to gain or lose by your decisions.
There are several restrictions on who may act as your witness. These restrictions eliminate most people who could have a conflict of interest or bias when it comes to your health care directive and living will.
Under Utah law, you may not choose the following individuals as a witness:
- The person who signed your health care directive and living will on your behalf
- Anyone who is related to you
- Your health care agent
- Anyone who would inherit from you
- Your health care provider
- An administrator of your health care facility
- Anyone who would benefit financially from your death
- Someone who is financially responsible for your health care
- A beneficiary of your insurance policy, trust, qualified plan, account, trust, or deed.
This long list of restrictions will probably eliminate most of the people in your inner circle from witnessing your health care directive and living will. You may need to ask an acquaintance like a neighbor or a coworker to act as a witness instead.
Distribute your advance directives.
After you have signed your advance directives, you need to make sure to distribute them to the right people. Your health care agent will need a copy to help them better understand your health care wishes. Your medical providers should have a copy of your advance directives for your medical record. Finally, your loved ones should have your advance directives in case they ever accompany you during a medical emergency.
Update your advance directives.
A good policy is to review your advance directives every few years at least. This helps to ensure that they continue to reflect your wishes. You may need to update your advance directives earlier if you have gone through significant life changes. The following circumstances could cause you to rethink your choices:
- Marriage or divorce
- Conflict with your health care agent
- Advances in medical technology
In the case of marriage, divorce, or conflict, you may want to change your health care agent. If you or your health care agent has relocated, you may need to choose an agent who lives within a closer proximity to you. You may also need to update other estate planning documents like your will as a result of these circumstances.
Regardless of the reason, you have the right to change your advance directives whenever you see fit. Remember that if you create your health care directive and living will through FindLaw, you can update it for any reason, and at no charge, 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
Ready to get started on Your Utah healthcare directive & living will? It’s free to start.Create My Form
Utah Health Care Directive and Living Will FAQs
No. A will and a living will have confusingly similar names, but they are very different legal documents.
A last will and testament (a “will”) is the main estate planning document. You can use a will to describe who should receive your assets after your death. If you have minor children, you can name guardians for them in a will.
A living will is a legal document you can use to describe your health care wishes in the event you become unable to make your own health care decisions. Your living will is only valid during your lifetime, and you cannot use it to provide for the distribution of your assets after your death. FindLaw uses the more specific term “health care directive and living will” for this document.
You may create both a will and a living will as different parts of a comprehensive estate plan. Your will describes your wishes for the distribution of your property after your death, and your health care directive and living will contains your medical care wishes.
No, it is your choice whether you create advance directives. According to Utah statutes, your health care providers cannot require or prohibit advance directives as a requirement for providing medical services.
Even though you are under no obligation to create a living will or a health care power of attorney, you may choose to do so. Many people have strong opinions about issues like life support in the event of a terminal or vegetative state. If you would like to make sure that your medical wishes are followed in that type of scenario, you should create a health care directive and living will. Your health care directive and living will can spell out your choices regarding life-sustaining treatments, when you would request them, and when you would refuse them.
Further, you may want to name a trusted person as your health care agent through a health care power of attorney. This way, you will know that you will have a reliable person ready to make medical decisions and carry out the terms of your health care directive and living will if necessary.
If you become medically incapacitated and do not have a health care agent or guardian, a health care surrogate may need to be appointed for you.
Under Utah law, there are several categories of close family members who will act as your surrogate if you have not chosen a health care agent. Under these laws, your spouse, adult child, parent, or other close family member will be chosen as your surrogate. If none of your close family members are available, an adult who has shown special care for you and who understands your personal values can fill this role.
If you would like to make your own decision on who will make your health care choices in the event of medical incapacity, you should sign an advance directive that names a health care agent of your choice. You should name an alternate health care agent too, just in case your first choice becomes unable to take on this responsibility.
Not entirely. A divorce does not revoke the choices in your health care directive and living will. But if you named your former spouse as your health care agent, this designation is revoked by a divorce. One exception to this would be if you stated that the designation should survive divorce in your advance directives. Another exception would be if you somehow confirmed your intention to keep your former spouse as your health care agent in spite of a divorce.
After going through a divorce, it’s a good time to update your advance directives. If your former spouse was your health care agent, you will probably want to choose a new one. Further, it’s possible that this major life event may have caused you to rethink unrelated health care choices. You can rest assured that if you create your health care directive and living will with FindLaw, you can update it at no charge for any reason for a full year after purchase.
- Write “void” across the document, tear it up, burn it, obliterate it, otherwise physically destroy it, or direct someone to do so on your behalf.
- Create a written revocation. You need to sign and date this document or direct someone to do so for you.
- Create new advance directives. If you do this, the newer documents will revoke the prior ones to the extent that the documents conflict.
- If there is no other option available to you, you can verbally express your intention to revoke in front of an adult witness.
Note that there are restrictions on your choice of witnesses for a verbal revocation. These are similar to the health care directive and living will witness restrictions covered above. The restrictions disqualify your relatives, beneficiaries, heirs, health care agent, and health care workers. In other words, anyone who could be biased or has a conflict of interest may not witness the oral revocation.
You should only rely on a verbal revocation as a last resort. Creating a new health care directive and living will is a better way of revoking a prior one. By choosing this method, you create a new record that makes your updated medical care wishes clear. This can be a great help to your health care agent, your medical team, and your loved ones in understanding your health care wishes. You can make a new health care directive and living will with FindLaw’s easy guided process in about half an hour from any location that is convenient to you.
If you revoke your advance directives or create new ones, you should make sure to tell your health care agent, loved ones, and medical staff about the changes. This will keep them updated on your most current medical preferences.
Complex Family Situation? Need Additional Guidance?
Contact a local estate planning attorney.
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