When you begin estate planning, you may first think about creating a will to describe how you want your possessions to go to your heirs. However, you may also want to create advance directives that cover your wishes in terms of medical treatments and end-of-life care. Texas law allows you to create advance directives that cover several different areas of health care, including therapy for mental health issues and resuscitation in emergency situations.

The Texas Health and Human Services department provide free forms for several types of advance directives. You may make these forms legally binding by signing them in front of a witness or using a notary. For some forms, including a medical power of attorney, you may choose to use a digital or electronic signature. You may have to fill out and sign several different advance directives if you want to make decisions about numerous aspects of your medical and end-of-life care.

If you want to designate a trusted person to make medical decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so, you may use a medical power of attorney form. You may also use this form to place limitations on certain decisions your agent may make and to designate a second agent if the original person is not able to fulfill the role. If you want to communicate your personal health care wishes to your doctors and family members, you may use a living will form. This form allows you to state whether you consent to life-sustaining treatments in the event of a terminal condition.

A declaration for mental health treatment form may allow you to state your wishes regarding emergency mental health treatment, convulsive therapy and psychoactive medication. Another advance directive option is an out-of-hospital do not resuscitate form, which instructs emergency personnel to permit you to die a natural death by foregoing resuscitation attempts.

This information on advance directives is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.