You probably remember the Terri Schiavo incident from a few years ago. If not, then here is a brief recap. Schiavo was comatose and on life support. Her doctors and her husband believed that there was no chance she would ever recover and that she would not want to remain on life support. Her other family members disagreed on both counts. The case got ugly and received national attention, especially after President George W. Bush attempted to intervene. Eventually, Schiavo's husband … [Read more...] about Terri Schiavo’s Brother
Similar to estate planning testamentary formalities, you must comply with the statutory formalities required for DNR Orders. You must sign your DNR-OOH Order in front of at least two witnesses. If you are unable to sign the document and authorize someone else to sign it on your behalf, the third-party signing agent must do it in front of at least two witnesses. In some circumstances, you may also be able to sign in front of a notary if you cannot find two witnesses, but the notary may not be … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 3 of 3
In the last blog, we discussed why you would want to draft an OOH-DNR or Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order as part of your estate planning documents. Now, we will cover what is necessary to create a valid order. First, you must be at least 18 years old to create a valid OOH-DNR Order and be mentally competent, which requires you to be of sound mind when signing and creating the document. At the very least, you should be able to understand that what you are signing and its implications. … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 2 of 3
Also known as “Do Not Resuscitate” Orders, DNRs allow you to order doctors or other hospital personnel to withhold treatment in certain situations. Talk to our office about making a DNR Order a part of your estate planning documents. Texas recognizes In-Hospital DNRs and Out-of-Hospital DNRs. Although similar, Out-of-Hospital DNR Orders direct nonhospital staff, including emergency medical personnel. Typically, emergency medical personnel refer to paramedics and hospital emergency room … [Read more...] about OOH-DNR Orders in Texas: Part 1 of 3
In an ideal world, you would always be able to make all of your own health care decisions. However, in the real world, it is possible that there will be a time when you can not. You might be under amnesia. You might have Alzheimer's. You might have had an accident and cannot communicate. Unfortunately, during these times. doctors might need to ask someone to make a decision about your care. Because you will not be able to answer the questions, you should have someone else ready to do so. You … [Read more...] about Making a Health Care Power of Attorney Useful
Medicine is a rapidly developing science. Every year brings new advances in technology that can help sustain life longer than the previous year. This actually creates problems in preparing for your own end of life care. A Living Will might no longer be an appropriate document if you do not want your life to be sustained by artificial means. Living Wills typically state that if you are suffering from a terminal condition with no hope of recovery that doctors should not sustain your life by … [Read more...] about Are Living Wills Obsolete?
If you have a trust, it is extremely important that you appoint someone responsible as the person to take over as trustee when you are no longer able to do so. It is called a "trust" for a reason. You need to appoint someone trustworthy who will look after the trust's financial interests. Consider the current issue surrounding the trust of Susan Strong Davis. She is 87 years old and has dementia, so she is no longer handling her affairs or her trust's. Instead, a man named James E. Larkin whom … [Read more...] about Appoint a Trustee You Can Trust
Long term care in a nursing home can be very expensive. If you do not plan properly, you can lose most of your assets before Medicaid will start paying for your care. Because you do not know whether or not you will need it, planning for the possibility of long term care should be a part of your overall estate plan. You have several options to plan for long term care. In Texas, you even have a unique option that is not available in most other states. In Texas, you can use a particular type of … [Read more...] about Planning for Long Term Care
A health care directive is an instructional document providing your primary care physician, your family and anyone else you list the information necessary should you become incapacitated. This document outlines what you do want to happen medically, as well as what do you do not want to happen. This differs from a medical power of attorney that appoints an individual to speak on your behalf, as well as make medical decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. This instructional document … [Read more...] about Estate Planning: About Healthcare Directives
Life can turn on a dime without any warning, and things can rapidly change without you even realizing it is happening. One day you could be just fine and loving life, and the next day you could be lying in a hospital bed clinging to life. Yes, it can happen that fast – even faster in some situations! What do you do, though? While you can’t prevent things from happening because it is, after all, unexpected – you can put some plans into place. Incapacity planning, believe it or not, is an … [Read more...] about Why is Incapacity Planning Important?