Advance directives are a vital part of estate planning

| Mar 26, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Taking steps to provide for and protect loved ones is a noble effort, but who will be there for them if something happens? Texas residents need to consider what will happen to them if they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for themselves. By including advance directives into the estate planning process, both the individuals doing the planning and their families can enjoy some peace of mind.

These documents tend to work together to provide certain protections to an individual unable to protect him- or herself, most often due to an injury or illness. A living will allows an individual the chance to outline his or her preferences when it comes to certain medical treatments, especially if the person becomes permanently unconscious or terminally ill. For instance, many people do not want to be resuscitated under certain circumstances. A DNR, as it is called, could be part of a living will, among other things.

The living will provides crucial information to a person’s health care proxy. This individual is named in a health care or medical power of attorney to make medical decisions for the incapacitated individual. The person appointing someone to fulfill this duty may want to make sure they have an in-depth discussion with him or her to make sure they are both on the same page when it comes to the decisions that may need to be made. This person could end up making decisions that are unpopular with other family members, so knowing decisively what the ill or injured person would have wanted could minimize any disputes.

It may not be pleasant to think about being alive and yet unable to control their lives, but that should not stop Texas residents from considering these documents. One of the primary reasons for estate planning is to retain some control over what happens during incapacitation and after death. Knowing that someone will be available to make sure their wishes are carried out may make it easier to think about the possibilities.