Houser Firm

Planning for healthcare decisions in advance

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Estate Planning

Creating an estate plan involves thinking about several aspects of your life. One of the primary considerations is handing assets down to loved ones, but that’s not the only thing your estate plan can do. You also need to set up plans for what will happen if you become incapacitated.

In Texas, planning for your healthcare in the event you become incapacitated involves executing legal documents that allow you to express your wishes about medical treatment and designating someone to make decisions on your behalf. Taking these steps can help to ensure that your healthcare preferences are known and followed if you’re unable to communicate them yourself.

Designating a medical power of attorney

One of the primary tools for healthcare planning in Texas is the Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA). This legal document allows you to appoint a trusted individual, known as your agent, to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

The person you choose should understand your healthcare preferences and be willing to make decisions that align with your values and wishes. It’s important to have open and honest discussions with your chosen agent about your medical care preferences.

Outlining your wishes with an advance directive

An advance directive, often referred to as a living will, is another critical component of healthcare planning. This document outlines your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment if you are diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition.

By completing an Advance Directive, you provide clear instructions about the types of medical treatments you do or don’t want, such as mechanical ventilation, artificial nutrition and hydration or resuscitation efforts.

The importance of discussing plans with loved ones

While legal documents are crucial, having a conversation with your family members and loved ones about your healthcare wishes is equally important. These discussions can help prevent confusion and conflict during difficult times by better ensuring that everyone understands your preferences about medical treatments.

Additionally, informing your healthcare providers about your medical plans and providing them with copies of your MPOA and advance directive can help to ensure that your medical care aligns with your wishes. Working with a legal representative to set these documents up can enhance the likelihood of your wishes being sufficiently relayed.