Living Will

Living Will

The term “living will” is a bit of a misnomer, as living wills are not wills in the traditional sense. A typical will takes effect upon a person’s death, providing instructions such as for the distribution of his or her property and other assets. A living will, on the other hand, allows a person to specify medical treatment and care instructions that take effect while he or she is still living. This is a part of estate planning. For example, if a person becomes mentally incapacitated or otherwise unable to make or communicate health care decisions, a living will provides family members and hospital personnel with the person’s medical care instructions and preferences. This section provides information and resources related to living wills and other health care directives. You’ll also find an overview of state living will laws, a sample living will form, and a discussion of a health care power of attorney.

What Is a Living Will?

A living will is a legal document that contains a person’s medical care and treatment instructions. The purpose of a living will is to allow a person to express health care decisions while he or she is mentally able to do so. In general, health care providers are required to obey the instructions contained in a person’s living will.

What Types of Procedures Are Covered in a Living Will?

States have passed laws covering living wills and other forms of health care estate plans. Because there are differences in these laws, it’s important to be fully informed of applicable regulations and requirements as you begin to plan your living will. In many states, a living will allows a person to express instructions concerning the use of a respirator to maintain breathing, the use of procedures such as blood transfusions and dialysis, and the injection of intravenous fluids and nutrients to sustain life. Keep in mind that a living will allows you to both refuse and to accept certain forms of treatment. For example, a person can refuse to undergo blood transfusions while stating an intent to receive intravenous drugs.

Benefits of Creating a Living Will Now

A person who creates a valid living will can feel secure in knowing that his or her medical care instructions will be honored. By creating a living will or other similar plan, you can avoid unwanted medical treatments and their associated costs. As an added benefit, your family members and friends will have advance knowledge of your medical and end-of-life care preferences. This can prevent emotional and harmful disputes from occurring.

Health Care Power of Attorney or a Living Will?

An alternative to drafting a living will is creating a health care power of attorney. This is a legal document that allows one person to grant another person the authority to make medical care and treatment decisions on the first person’s behalf. If you have a trusted family member or close friend who is a medical care professional, a health care power of attorney relationship can be a good idea. In Utah, you really should use the Advanced Health Care Directive that the Utah Legislature has put into place. A Utah lawyer can help you with this.

How an Attorney Can Help with your Living Will

If you have questions about living wills and other types of health care estate plans, an attorney can answer them. He or she can also help you to create a living will that reflects your intentions and wishes. This section provides a link for consulting with an experienced estate planning lawyer in your area.

Free Consultation with a Utah Estate Lawyer

If you are here, you probably have an estate issue you need help with, call Ascent Law for your free estate law consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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What is a Living Will in Utah?

what is a living will in utah

What is a living will?

A living will is a legal document in which you direct your doctor to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment, Living Wills deal with health, legal and personal care and are used during a person’s lifetime only. It is similar to a Power of Attorney that deals with financial matters and things relating to legal issues but different from your Last Will and Testament. It will provide guidance and will release medical practitioners from legal and ethical repercussions when cure is impossible. It also prevents guilt and disagreement among family members. There will be no second-guessing what your loved one may have wanted because it will be stated clearly what the patient wished done. A Living Will is certainly something to consider as people age. Whose only purpose is to prolong your dying process, if you are in a terminal condition or a state of permanent unconsciousness.

Who can prepare a living will?

You can prepare a living will if you are of sound mind and are at least 18 years of age, or have graduated from high school, or are married. You must sign your living will in the presence of two witnesses who are both at least 18 years of age.

What medical treatment can I refuse in my living will?

You can refuse all medical treatment including but not limited to cardiac resuscitation, artificial feeding, blood, kidney dialysis, antibiotics, surgery, diagnostic tests, and mechanical respiration. You can, however, direct your doctor to administer only treatment that will keep you comfortable and alleviate your pain.

Also in your living will, you can designate another individual, known as your surrogate, to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself through d help of legal practitioner.

When does my living will become operative?

Your living will becomes operative when you and a lawyer provides a copy of it to your doctor, and your doctor determines you to be incompetent and in a terminal condition or state of permanent unconsciousness. At that time, your doctor has to act in accordance with the instructions outlined in your living will through the help of your doctor. If your doctor is not in good conscience, the lawyer will assist you following the instructions in your living will, your doctor must inform you or your lawyer of this fact. At that time, your doctor  and lawyer is required to assist you in finding another doctor who will comply with the instructions in your living will.

Living Wills should be updated from time-to-time because with advances in medical science and your lawyer for reference purpose, what was once a heroic measure may later become a routine procedure. Physical disability does not render a patient incapable of making a decision. Living Wills should also be changed as a patient’s health changes and should be discussed with their family doctor. And lawyer A copy should be given to your doctor, your lawyer and closest family member.

A living will lets you decide now what medical treatment you want in the future if you become incompetent and are in a terminal condition or a state of permanent unconsciousness. It helps to eliminate uncertainty regarding your desire for specific medical treatment, and provides guidance to your doctors and family members. Failure to prepare a living will may cause increased stress on your loved ones who are left to decide the proper medical treatment for you.

Free Consultation with a Utah Living Will Lawyer

If you are here, you may need help with a living will or a lawsuit regarding a living will. If so, call Ascent Law for your free consultation with a Utah attorney (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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