Experts say once a person turns 18 years old, he or she should have two legal documents. The first is a medical power of attorney, which appoints an individual who will make decisions regarding medical treatment in the event of incapacitation. The second is a financial power of attorney, who will specifically instruct how assets and property are to be distributed after death. Many people in Texas and elsewhere find it difficult to have conversations about death and dying with family members.
Some are put off by talks about the inevitable. People feel grief, sadness and fear when talking about death, no matter how far off that may be. Studies show over 90 percent of adults know the importance of discussing end-of-life matters, but only 30 percent have done something about it. Planning now for end-of-life and having everything in place can make the process easier on loved ones.
Many experts agree that people should begin conversations about end-of-life planning as soon as possible. Individuals should have talks with family about health care, legal issues and finances, and involve anyone with a vested interest in the conversation. They should also inform everyone about their final wishes as well as discuss any power of attorney designations to help avoid conflicts.
By taking the time to communicate end-of-life wishes sooner rather than later, individuals can address any possible problems that may arise and help their loved ones maintain civility during the estate administration process. Families in Texas who have questions about end-of-life planning and appointing a power of attorney may benefit from consulting with an estate planning lawyer. While it may not be a pleasant conversation, loved ones will be forever grateful for not having to contend with tough decisions during a difficult time.