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Living Wills

Texas law allows competent adults to exercise their right to make decisions about their medical treatment in the event of a terminal or irreversible condition. By signing a Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates, commonly referred to as a living will, individuals can instruct their physicians to withhold or withdraw artificial life-sustaining procedures.

By outlining these detailed directions in the living will, the patient can inform healthcare providers of their wishes concerning the use or non-use of life-sustaining medical interventions in situations involving a terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness. This provides a way for competent adults in Texas to control decisions about their medical care at the end of life.

When Does the Living Will Take Effect?

The living will takes effect only when certain conditions are met:

  1. Terminal Illness: The patient’s physician must determine that the patient is terminally ill, with an expected death within six months if artificial life-sustaining procedures are not applied.
  2. Irreversible Condition: Alternatively, the patient may have a condition that can be treated but never cured, leaving them unable to care for or make decisions for themselves, and without life-sustaining treatment, the condition is fatal.

Requirements and Contents of the Living Will

The form and contents of the living will are prescribed by Texas law. To create a valid living will, the following requirements must be met:

  1. Written Document: The living will must be in writing.
  2. Patient’s Signature: The document must be signed by the patient.
  3. Witnessed by Competent Adults: The living will must be witnessed by two competent adults. One of the witnesses must not be the person designated to make treatment decisions for the patient and should not have certain relationships with the patient, such as being related by blood or marriage, an heir, the attending physician, or an employee of the physician or healthcare facility.
  4. Notarization Option: Instead of witnesses, the patient may choose to sign the living will and have the signature acknowledged before a notary public.

Designating a Health Care Agent

Like a guardianship, the living will can also include designating another person to make medical decisions on behalf of the patient if the patient becomes comatose, incompetent, or otherwise mentally or physically incapable of communication. This appointed health care agent should be someone who thoroughly understands the patient’s wishes and preferences for end-of-life care.

Consulting an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney

If you wish to express your desire that your life not be artificially prolonged in the event of a terminal illness, it is crucial to consult with one of our experienced estate planning attorneys. We can assist you in preparing a living will that accurately reflects your wishes. Additionally, informing your physician about your directive and providing them with a copy is advisable to ensure your wishes are known and respected.

Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys. Let us help you navigate the process and provide you with peace of mind regarding your end-of-life decisions.

Why Choose Us?

Local Expertise: With a focus on probate and assisting clients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, we understand local peculiarities and leverage our established network to expedite the probate process.

Vast Experience: Our attorneys bring years of dedicated experience in navigating Dallas County’s probate system.

Client-Centered Approach: We recognize the emotional stress often associated with probate administration. Our objective is to alleviate this stress by providing you with top-notch legal support.

Contact us today to arrange a FREE consultation and make the probate process simpler for you.

Our Dallas Probate Attorneys provide a full range of probate services to our clients, including helping with living wills. Affordable rates, fixed fees, and payment plans are available. We provide step-by-step instructions, guidance, checklists, and more for completing the probate process. We have years of combined experience we can use to support and guide you with probate and estate matters.


Disclaimer:  The content of this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice and should not be acted upon without consulting a qualified probate attorney.