Utah Advance Health Care Directive–GET ONE!!
November 5, 2015 - Posted by: admin - In category:
As we have mentioned previously, the unfortunate reality is that many people in the United States have done NOTHING when it comes to estate planning–ZERO, ZIP, NADA! The statistics aren’t much different or better when we look at Utah residents in particular. There are many reasons for this, but none of them good reasons (to be blunt). In any event, there are certain basic items that EVERYONE should have in place, no matter what, and a “living will” and “health care directive” is one of those basic, “must have” items. The good news here is that you can get one of these for free and you are not required to deal with an attorney for this item of you don’t desire to do so.
Our friends in the Utah legislature have established Utah’s Advance Health Care Directive by statute. You are NOT required to use this statutory form, but its a good idea to do so and in most cases, this “official” form works well. You can get a copy of this form online from various sources, including the University of Utah Center on Aging. As the Center on Aging correctly states, you do not need an attorney to complete these forms. However, the Center on Aging recommends that you contact your “primary care physician” or “local hospital” to get help in completing this form. I would respectfully disagree with this suggestion. From my experience, I believe that going to your primary care doctor or hospital to get help with these matters will lead to a lot of frustration and wasted time. Simply put, neither your doctor nor nearby hospital have the resources to walk you through these matters. Perhaps I am mistaken with regard to your doctor and your hospital, but in any event, the better suggestion (mentioned by the Center on Aging) is to contact Utah Legal Services if you are over the age of sixty (60) (any Utah resident age 60 or older can call 800-662-1772 between 9 am and 2 pm for assistance).
If you are NOT over the age of 60 (because again, this is NOT just something for the elderly), then feel free to contact us at any time! We would be happy to assist with these matters, free of charge. Finally, the Center on Aging has also made available its “Tool Kit For Advance Health Care Planning“, which consists of about 40 pages of forms, instructions and questionnaires that are designed to prepare you and your prospective “agent” to fill out the Utah Advance Health Care Directive form and to understand all that is involved with this process. Click here to access that “tool kit”.
Again, whether you use the Utah Commission on Aging resources or not, please look into getting an Advance Health Care Directive executed and put in place for yourself and all of your friends and loved ones.