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Three Types of Advance Medical Directives in Texas Estate Planning

 Posted on May 30, 2024 in Estate Planning

Dallas Estate Planning LawyerEstate planning is not just about distributing your assets; it involves planning for future medical decisions when you might not be able to make those choices yourself. In Texas, several advance medical directives play a crucial role in ensuring that your healthcare wishes are respected. Three key types of advance medical directives include a medical power of attorney, a declaration of mental health treatment, and a living will/directive to physicians. Hiring a lawyer to ensure you understand each of these can help you make informed decisions for your future.

Empowering a Trusted Individual by Designating a Medical Power of Attorney

A medical power of attorney (MPOA) in Texas allows you to designate a trusted person, known as your agent, to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This document grants your agent the authority to discuss your medical situation with healthcare providers, access your medical records, and make decisions that align with your healthcare preferences.

When selecting your agent, it is important to choose someone who understands your values and wishes and is willing to advocate for them. Ensure that your agent is aware of your preferences regarding treatments, surgeries, and life-sustaining measures. Discuss these matters in-depth before creating the MPOA to avoid future conflicts or misunderstandings.

Giving Detailed Instructions through a Declaration of Mental Health Treatment

The declaration of mental health treatment is a specialized directive that outlines your preferences for mental health care. This document specifies your wishes regarding psychiatric treatments, such as medication, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and inpatient care. It comes into play if you lose the capacity to make informed decisions about your mental health treatment.

Texas law stipulates that the declaration of mental health treatment is valid for three years unless you become incapacitated during that period, in which case it remains in effect until you regain capacity. This directive ensures that your mental health treatment preferences are clearly communicated and followed by medical professionals.

Outlining End-of-Life Care Through a Living Will

A living will, also referred to as a directive to physicians in Texas, highlights your wishes concerning life-sustaining treatments if you have a terminal or irreversible condition. This document specifies whether you want measures such as mechanical ventilation, tube feeding, or resuscitation to be employed or withheld. There is no question that, for many people, discussing end-of-life choices can be difficult. That being said, a living will ensures that your preferences are honored during critical moments. It provides clear guidance for physicians and relieves your loved ones from making tough decisions during emotionally charged times.

Contact a Dallas, TX Advance Medical Directive Lawyer

Advance medical directives are vital components of comprehensive estate planning in Texas. By thoughtfully considering and creating these documents, you can take proactive steps to safeguard your medical choices and provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. Contact our Dallas, TX advance medical directive attorney with Andrew Dunlap Attorneys, PLLC at 972-807-6357 to schedule a private consultation today.

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