National Estate Planning Awareness Week: Living Wills

October 22, 2020


Earlier this week, we discussed library resources for creating a simple will. In the second post for our series on National Estate Planning Awareness Week, we’ll look at resources that will help you understand and create a directive to physicians, which is commonly referred to as a “living will”. A living will is a legal document that outlines a person’s wishes for medical care.

Wills & Directives Research Guide

Our Wills & Directives research guide has a page dedicated to Advanced Directives for Medical Care. We cover several different types of advanced directives on this page, including a living will. Under the "What is an Advanced Directive?" box, you will find the Texas statutes that govern living wills, including the types of treatments they cover, when they are typically used, and how long they last.  

This guide also links directly to several sample forms that you can use as a guide to creating your own living will. Forms from Texas Law Help, Texas A&M Real Estate Center, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, and the Texas Hospital Association are available for free online.

E-Books from the Digital Collection

Several e-books in our collection are also helpful for learning more about living wills. Please note that you will need a current library account in order to access these e-books directly, which you can register for online.

Nolo's Estate Planning Basics

Chapter 4 Planning for incapacity: medical care and finances include a discussion of living wills among other planning considerations for medical care. This chapter gives you a brief overview of the process from a general standpoint and is a good basic introduction to the subject.

Nolo's Plan Your Estate

Another useful resource from Nolo on this subject is Plan Your Estate. Chapter 26 covers preparing for medical and financial decisions in the event that you become incapacitated. This chapter is a bit more in-depth in its coverage of medical and financial planning documents than the Estate Planning Basics title but is still accessible for anyone new to estate planning.

Hegland and Fleming's a Short and Happy Guide to Elder Law

This e-book from West Publishing's Short and Happy Series covers many aspects of elder law in a relatively quick format. Chapter 28 of this e-book stressed the importance of having medical and financial planning documents in place, especially a living will. This e-book is written in a light tone but still manages to handle a serious topic effectively.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's look at powers of attorney!

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

National Estate Planning Awareness Week: Powers of Attorney

State Law Library

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