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Utah Living Wills Laws

Normally, when we think of wills, we think of what happens to a person’s property after he or she passes away. But a living will can be in effect while a person is still alive and usually details which treatment options the patient prefers, should he or she become unable to communicate. This is an introduction to living wills laws in Utah.

Utah Living Wills Statutes

A living will is a legally binding document that expresses an individual's medical treatment preferences if he or she becomes incapacitated. They can also indicate a patient’s wishes regarding whether he or she wants to be kept alive through artificial means after a debilitating injury or illness. The table below lists Utah’s living wills statutes.

Code Section

Utah Code 75-2a-101 et seq.: Advance Health Care Directive Act

Specific Powers, Life-Prolonging Acts

Any medical procedure or intervention that would serve only to prolong the dying process including artificial nutrition and hydration unless declaration specifically excludes; does not include medication, sustenance, or any procedure to alleviate pain or provide comfort care. Separate procedure for do not resuscitate directive

Legal Requirements for Valid Living Will

(1) 18 yrs.; (2) in writing; (3) signed by declarant or at his directive; (4) dated; (5) signed in presence of 2 or more adult witnesses; (6) substantially same form as §75-2-1104(4); (7) no force during course of declarant's pregnancy

Revocation of Living Will

Current wishes of declarant take precedent over any directive. Revocable at any time by signed revocation or destruction of document or oral expression of intent to revoke in presence of adult witness. Effective on receipt by physician

Validity from State-to-State

Similar instrument executed in another state is presumed to comply with Utah law and may be relied upon in good faith

If Physician Unwilling to Follow Durable Power of Attorney

Unwilling physician required to transfer patient promptly

Immunity for Attending Physician

No civil, criminal, or professional liability for good faith compliance with a directive

Utah Living Wills Laws: Related Resources

State wills laws are complicated, and planning for a future illness or death is never easy. If you would like legal assistance regarding a health care or living will matter, you can consult with a Utah estate planning attorney or a Utah health care attorney. You can also find additional articles and information, including a sample living will form and a sample living will with designation of a surrogate form, by visiting FindLaw’s section on Living Wills.

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