Upcoming YLD – Serve Our Seniors Event

For Immediate Release
October 15, 2013

Contact:  Sean Toomey
Communications Director, Utah State Bar
645 South 200 East, SLC UT 84111, 801-297-7059
sean.toomey@utahbar.org

Update for Utah Attorneys: We are pleased to announce that we achieved our volunteer goal for this event. To view further upcoming events please visit: http://younglawyers.utahbar.org/index.php/Serving_Our_Seniors

Young Lawyers Serving Our Seniors with Free Documents on October 26
Advanced Health Care Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney for people 55+.

SALT LAKE CITY—The Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar is Serving Our Seniors with free Advanced Health Care Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney for people aged 55 and older.   This free seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at the Utah State Bar, 645 South 200 East (parking in rear).  No appointment is necessary.

An Advanced Health Care Directive allows a person to document basic end-of-life choices in case they are unable to communicate their desires when decisions are needed, and to designate other people who can make additional health care decisions if necessary.  A Durable Power of Attorney allows one to designate people to manage finances in the event of disability or incapacitation, without the need of more complex arrangements like a trust or a court-appointed guardian or conservator.

Sarah Elizabeth Spencer, co-chair of the Young Lawyers Division Serving Our Seniors committee said, “You can avoid uncertainty and conflict with these crucial documents. You can help your family, friends, and doctors help you by sharing your wishes about life-sustaining care and who should make medical and financial decisions if you are unable.”

With the statutory Utah Advance Health Care Directive form, many seniors are able to navigate the options and complete the form on their own; aging.utah.edu.  However, because the choices and language are sometimes confusing, others appreciate the guidance an experienced attorney can offer.  And because both documents deal with similar contingencies, it makes sense to complete them at the same time.

Utah does not have a statutory form for a Durable Power of Attorney, and people should be careful with on-line or off-the-shelf documents.  Troy T. Wilson, chair of the Bar’s Elder Law Section said, “POAs are one of the most misunderstood documents, and also one of the most abused, leading to financial exploitation of Utah seniors.  Because significant authority can be conferred upon an agent using a POA, a qualified attorney experienced with estate planning and elder law issues should be consulted to draft a document appropriate for you and your unique circumstances.”

With approximately 2,000 members, the Young Lawyers Division prides itself as being one of the most active organizations within the Utah State Bar, and includes members less than 36 years of age, as well as members who have been admitted to their first state bar for less than five years.  The Young Lawyers Division is service-oriented, offering Wills for Heroes—helping police officers, firefighters, and other first responders, the Cinderella Boutique—loaning Prom dresses to high school students, and extensive pro bono legal help to those in need.

The Utah State Bar was established in 1931 and regulates the practice of law under the authority of the Utah Supreme Court.  The 11,000 lawyers of the Bar serve the public and legal profession with excellence, civility, and integrity.  They envision a just legal system that is understood, valued, and accessible to all.

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