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A health care directive names an agent that you want to act on your behalf in the event that you become unable to communicate your health care wishes. It also indicates how much medical care you do or do not want and who will work with the doctors to determine your care. Your agent may also be able to access your medical records.


A legally solid estate plan, health care directive, or advance directive is a good idea for adults of every age. Life can change fast, and it is best not to wait until then to decide what to do. Advanced healthcare directives are important legal documents that provide clear, written instructions about your medical preferences in the event that you are unable to make those decisions or clearly communicate them for yourself.

In a health care directive, you can name an agent to act on your behalf. It is a good practice to name at least one person to be an agent and another to be a successor agent in the event that your desired agent is unavailable. Many people name their spouse, their adult child, another trusted family member, or a friend. Ensure that the person that you choose is aware of your
wishes, has a copy of your health care directive, and is willing to adhere to the document that you have provided for them.

At Bainum Law, our main goal is to provide exceptional legal services to individuals and families. Estate planning is an important legal matter that deserves your time and attention now to prevent difficulty for those you love later. Craig M. Bainum is an experienced Logan attorney and has been practicing law in the state of Utah for over 30 years. Contact us today to schedule your estate planning consultation.


After creating your health care directive with Bainum Law, it is important that copies of your documents are in the correct hands and are updated whenever circumstances make it necessary to do so. Your health care directive must be both safe and easy to access. Advance directives copies should be distributed to your health care provider, your chosen agent, and your agent’s successor. It is also wise to keep a record of who has been provided with a copy of the health care directive.

Have important conversations with your family members now to discuss your health care directive. In the event that your advance directive is needed, you will not be available to explain anything. Keep a wallet-sized card on you at all times with information on your health care directive and how to access copies of that document and take a copy of it with you when you travel.

Just as your life is not static, your estate planning documents cannot remain the same for decades without a thought. Consider updating your healthcare directive with your attorney if you receive an updated healthcare diagnosis or if your marital status changes. Additionally, it is a good practice to review the contents of your health care directive every ten years. If you choose to make any changes, all old copies should be disposed of and replaced with new copies of your updated advance directive.

For more information about estate planning with Bainum Law, see our pages about
wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

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