Preparing documents for an estate plan can ensure the process is as smooth as possible ensuring that your end of life healthcare is what you want and that your property is given out the way you want it to be. In creating an estate plan there are several major documents that you need to have prepared. Two of these documents that I would like to talk about are an advanced healthcare directive, and a will. There are other documents that may also be necessary depending on your circumstances. However, at these two documents ought to be part of any effective estate plan.
Advanced Healthcare Directive
An advanced healthcare directive provides direction for your medical decisions if you are unable to communicate your wishes. In Utah a professional attorney can prepare an advanced healthcare directive for you along with other estate planning documents. If you do not have the resources to pay for an attorney, you may prepare your own. The Utah state Legislature has prepared a form for individuals to fill out on their own.The form is found
The University of Utah has also provided a form for individuals who want to prepare their own advanced healthcare directive. That form may be found here.
Typically an advanced healthcare directive will let your healthcare wishes be known. In addition to this it may also grant healthcare related decision-making power to whomever you decide can make those decisions in your stead. You may limit this person’s powers or provide them more guidance on making decisions in the advanced healthcare directive.
A will is a basic document used to state what you want to happen after you are deceased. A will may state who you want to receive your property, who you want to take care of your children, as well as your burial wishes, among other things when you die. A will does not go into effect until after you are deceased and it goes through what is called the probate process.
The person who has had the will made is called the testator. The most common type of will is a typed document stating what the testator’s wishes are. In Utah a will is required to be signed by the testator as well as two witnesses and is typically notarized as well. Once this occurs the will is valid and may be used after you die to pass on property and handle any other issues you may have remaining.
An individual may write their own will. However, I frequently run into individuals who have done so who accidentally end up putting terms in their will which are unenforceable in court. An experienced attorney familiar with estate planning may be able to help you avoid many of the common mistakes. An attorney can help you avoid any of the common pitfalls that occur in writing a will such as unclear language, laws relating to passing down property, in ensuring that your estate is dealt with in a manner in which you wish.
For questions about wills, or other issues regarding estate plans contact our office at (801) 784-8561, or email the author directly at Keil.Robert.Myers@gmail.com