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Texas Estate Planning: Key Estate Planning Documents

Texas Estate Planning
Estate Planning

Statutory Durable Power of Attorney

This is a popular document within estate plans. Many of you have likely heard of this power. In short, this power of attorney is a document than names an agent. The agent holds power to make financial decisions on your behalf. The power can become effective immediately or “spring” into effect when you become disabled or incapacitated. It is important to note, unless otherwise stated, an agent is entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses and to reasonable compensation for service. Additionally, if co-agents are named, each co-agent may act independently from the other.

Medical Power of Attorney

This is another common power of attorney found dealing with Texas estate planning. This power of attorney names an agent to make health care decisions for you. Unlike the durable power of attorney, the medical power of attorney generally becomes effective when a doctor certifies that you lack competency to make your own health care decisions.

Directive to Physicians

This document is some times referred to as a “Living Will”. In summary, the directive deals with health care measures that you, the patient, wants imposed should you become unable to express your desires.

HIPAA Authorizations

A HIPAA authorization outlines the people, or agents, that you want to have access to your medical information. The use of this separate document can also alleviate concerns some medical professionals may have about relying on a medical power of attorney.

Declaration of Guardian for Oneself

The Texas Estates Code allows you to designate a guardian of the person and/or estate for you in case the you becomes incapacitated to the extent a guardianship is required. In addition, you can disqualify an individual who might otherwise have priority to serve as guardian under Texas law. Good estate planning typically aims to avoid a guardianship by having a statutory power of attorney or revocable trust, and a medical power of attorney.

Appointment of Agent for Disposition of Remains

This document is important because you can give special instructions as to your burial or cremation. Texas law provides a priority list of persons who have the right to control the disposition of your remains. This list begins with the person’s spouse, followed by an adult child, a parent, an adult sibling, executor, and then an heir. Therefore, this document can be important to you if you do not want a member of your biological family in control of your burial arrangement.

These are just a few basic Texas estate planning tools that are important to individuals regardless of their estate size. Learn More About the Texas Estates Code

Gibbins Law is Here to Help

Gibbins Law is here to help. We have experience helping individuals with various types of estate plans. Gibbins Law offers free consultations and appointments seven days a week. Initial consultations are always free.

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