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What should I know about Texas living will laws?

Texans who have concerns about the type of medical care they will receive should they become ill enough that artificial means are necessary to keep them alive will want to think about a living will. A living will is a key part of comprehensive estate planning and should not be ignored. The desire of the person is paramount with a living will. Many people do not want to be subject to medical intervention or be kept alive with artificial means. Therefore, it is important to remember important points about Texas law for living wills.

If there is a procedure or a machine that will be used to replace, maintain or restore a vital function and postpone death in a person whose condition is terminal and whose death would be imminent without the intervention, this counts as a life-prolonging act and the living will can prevent it should the person desire it. This does not include giving medication or performing procedures that will increase the person’s comfort or end pain. The person can designate a person to make those decisions if he or she is incompetent or comatose.

For there to be a valid living will, the person must be a competent adult; there must be two witnesses; it can be an oral will if there are two witnesses and an attending physician; the directive will be in the medical record of the person; and it is not applicable for pregnant women. The living will can be revoked at any time independent of the person’s medical state or whether he or she is competent. The person can revoke it with the destruction of the document; if it is revoked in writing and signed and dated; or there is an oral statement intending to revoke it. It will be effective until the attending physician receives it and is notified of it.

A living will is one part of drafting estate planning documents to adhere to the person’s desires. There are many others when it comes to assets, distribution of assets, who the executor will be and much more. A law firm that specializes in helping clients with simple and complex estate plans can give advice and assistance with any issue related to estate planning and should be contacted as soon as possible to craft the document.