Why is Estate Planning in Texas Important?

Why is Estate Planning in Texas Important?

Why is Estate Planning in Texas Important?

The savvy Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law are committed to helping you address the important question of why estate planning in Texas important. Your estate plan represents your legacy and your unwavering commitment to your family and loved ones, which makes it exceptionally important.

The idea of delving into estate planning may seem overwhelming, but this is a common misconception. If you have a family – or loved ones – whom you want to continue providing for after your death, you have estate planning needs, and this answers the question of why is estate planning in Texas important. Your estate plan can also address the critical matter of who will be making important financial and medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. You do not need a grandiose estate to have estate planning needs, and the dedicated estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753) in Texas are committed to helping you address yours.

What Is Estate Planning?

Very generally, estate planning addresses the important matter of planning ahead for how your assets will be distributed upon your death – while also designating who will take over managing your financial and medical affairs if you are incapacitated. While a primary component of your estate plan will likely be your will, there is a lot more to it than that, and your estate plan can also include any combination of the following:

  • Medical and legal powers of attorney
  • Advance directives
  • Special real estate deeds
  • Trusts

The State of Texas provides a wealth of resources related to estate planning on its Texas State Law Library site.

Your Last Will and Testament: The First Step in Your Estate Plan

Generally, a Last Will and Testament (will) plays a primary role in one’s overall estate planning efforts. A will is a set of directions that are meant to be implemented upon your death. Until that time, however, your will has no legal power. Although your will does not bypass the probate process, it can expedite it and will help to ensure that your wishes are upheld (in accordance with the law). Your will can direct how your assets will be distributed upon your death and can address the matter of your minor children’s guardianship (in the event they lose both parents). If you die with no will, it is called dying intestate. Intestacy is a complicated and lengthy legal process that requires the court to engage in all the following:

  • Classifying your assets as either marital or separate (if you are married at the time of your death)
  • Identifying your heirs
  • Distributing your assets according to the intestacy laws in the State of Texas

The idea that all your assets will simply pass to your spouse upon your death is not accurate. In Texas – if you die intestate – your spouse is entitled to half of your marital assets and to one-third of your separate property, and the rest will be subject to the state’s intestacy laws.

Your Estate Plan and Your Family

The fact of the matter is that your estate plan is a testament to your love and commitment to your family, and the time and effort you put into the planning process, while focusing on the circumstances that are specific to your situation, will have a profound effect on your family. This is the position you should take as you address the matter of your estate plan, and this is one of the most important answers to why is estate planning in Texas important.

Your Mission Statement

You recognize how important planning your estate is, but putting your objectives into words that are legally binding can be difficult. Although your goals are unique to you, they should encompass all the following:

  • Maintaining control of your assets while you are living
  • Taking care of yourself and of your loved ones if you are unable to do so due to incapacity
  • Controlling how and when your assets will be distributed (and to whom)
  • Minimizing your tax and court costs as much as possible

It is a tall order, but the seasoned Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law are well positioned to help.

Your Living Trust

While having a will in place is likely an important element of your estate plan, the only way to adequately address each of your objectives is by also having a living or revocable trust. With a living trust, which specifically allocates how your assets will be distributed and when, you can move beyond the limitations of your will, which cannot avoid the probate process and cannot be kept private, in all the following ways:

  • You can avoid the probate process, including any probate in other states (as applicable).
  • You can avoid a potential guardianship by providing instructions for your care in the event you are incapacitated.
  • You can determine at what age and under what circumstances your loved ones will inherit from you.
  • You can be proactive in your efforts to sideline any disgruntlements on the part of your heirs.

Often, wills and living trusts go hand in hand. While a living trust is generally more robust than a will, any assets or any major life changes that it does not address will be left hanging and will need to be taken up during the probate process. Your will, on the other hand, can address the complete scope of your assets that are not included in your living trust, and while your will does not bypass the probate process, it can speed it along. Further, the matter of guardianship for your minor children (in the unlikely event they lose both their parents), should be addressed in your will.

An Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney Is on Your Side

Why is estate planning in Texas important? This is a complex question that generates a variety of answers, but they all focus on your ability to manage your own assets now and your ability to continue providing for your family and loved ones into the future. It is a challenging matter, but the thoughtful Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law have the skill, experience, and legal insight to help you forge ahead with an estate plan that addresses your intentions and that affords you the peace of mind you are looking for. To learn more, please do not wait to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.

 

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Texas?

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Texas?

How Much Does Estate Planning Cost in Texas?

Estate planning is an important element of establishing your legacy for your family and loved ones. You have dedicated your life to taking care of those who depend upon you, and an important aspect of this is preparing for when the time comes that you are no longer around to do so. In other words, estate planning can play a critical role in providing you with the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have taken care of all of your legal and financial planning.

While many people are concerned about the cost of estate planning, it is important to recognize that estate planning can range from the very straightforward to the highly complex. As such, the answer to how much does estate planning cost is that it can be surprisingly affordable – especially in relation to the tax savings it can help ensure and to the assurances it can provide you. To address your own estate planning needs, reach out to the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law (512-505-2753) today.

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

If you think that estate planning is only for the rich and the famous, you are mistaken and could be missing an opportunity to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of financially after your death. Estate planning is important if any of the following apply:

  • You have assets and/or are building a career and are interested in determining whom these assets will ultimately go to.
  • You have a family (a spouse and/or children).
  • You are interested in guiding your end-of-life healthcare decisions.

Consider Hiring an Estate Planning Attorney

While the internet is an excellent resource when it comes to understanding the basics of estate planning – including finding out information about how much estate planning costs in Texas – you should not rely on the internet for your complete range of estate planning needs. Rather, you should consider visiting with a dedicated estate planning attorney that can address your specific situation and answer your questions.

The goal of your estate plan is to allow you the confidence that comes from knowing you have put in the necessary effort and have created an estate plan that ensures your intentions will be carried out. Further, estate planning is not a static event but is instead a process that requires all of the following:

  • Regular maintenance that keeps your estate plan up to date with your wishes
  • Reevaluation as you and your family’s lives evolve
  • Periodic tweaks along the way
  • Reexamination in relation to evolving tax laws

In other words, working closely with an accomplished estate planning attorney is important to consider, and at Ibekwe Law, we are standing by to help ensure your legal and financial rights remain protected for you and your family.

Understanding the Basics of Estate Planning

If your estate planning needs are fairly straightforward and do not involve complicated or large business transactions, your estate planning attorney may offer you a flat fee in response to these needs. A flat fee generally refers to a firm price in exchange for a finite number of defined basic services. The flat fee rate will generally be comparable to what the work would cost if you paid hourly legal fees, but some clients prefer to have a final price that is a known entity. The basic estate planning matters that are likely to be addressed in a flat-rate plan include the following (in accordance with your needs):

  • A simple Last Will and Testament (will) as defined by the Texas State Law Library
  • A living will that outlines your end-of-life decisions
  • A designated power of attorney for your financial assets
  • A designated power of attorney for your healthcare decisions (as defined by the Texas State Law Library)
  • Guardianship for your minor children (in the unlikely event they are left without either parent)

Before signing off on a plan with a flat rate, you should visit with your estate planning attorney to ensure that you understand all of your plan’s components and that the included estate planning products will effectively address your needs in their entirety. A reputable estate planning attorney will carefully review your options with you – in an effort to ensure you are purchasing the estate planning services that are right for you.

Complex Estate Planning Needs

If your estate plan needs are more complicated, the cost of your estate planning is also more complicated. In these cases, a person may have more assets or a substantial estate to consider. You may have more complex estate planning needs if you have any of the following:

  • You have diverse financial holdings that require more sophisticated legal attention and/or involve coordinating efforts with additional professionals, such as your financial planner.
  • You have a substantial estate.
  • You have unique estate planning concerns that require more exacting legal efforts.

When it comes to your estate plan, the final product – including ongoing maintenance and upkeep – is paramount. Make sure that you place importance not only on just the cost of estate planning, but how a comprehensive estate plan will provide you with the peace of mind that motivated your efforts in the first place.

An Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

If you are asking yourself how much estate planning cost will cost you, it is time to consult with the trusted estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC in Texas. We are committed to employing the full force of our impressive experience in our dedicated efforts to help you create a solid estate plan that works for you and that is within your budget. Addressing your estate plan needs sooner rather than later is well advised, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.

What is Estate Planning?

What is Estate Planning?

What is Estate Planning?

If you have a career, a spouse, children, assets, or any combination of these things, you have an estate, and should consider whether now is the time to create an estate plan. At its simplest, your estate plan refers to your wishes regarding your financial legacy (regardless of how basic or substantial) and your wishes regarding how your financial legacy will flow to your loved one when the time comes.

Although that time may be in the very distant future, that is the crux of planning – taking care of the matter before your plans are required. The best planning strategy for your estate is getting an early start and making modifications as necessary. What is estate planning? The dedicated Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753), have the experience and legal insight to answer this question for you in relation to your unique estate planning needs.

What Is Included in an Estate Plan?

Your estate amounts to your assets in their entirety. However, an estate plan also includes planning for the possibility that a person will have an accident or illness that will render them unable to make decisions on their own behalf. An estate plan also includes making determinations regarding guardianship of minor children, or appointment of certain persons to make legal or medical decisions on your behalf.

Making plans for all of these instances can provide you with considerable peace of mind. You work hard for your loved ones, and passing on the fruits of your labor is your final reward. Additionally, making health and financial decisions, as well as decisions regarding minor children, can ensure that your wishes are carried out should you become incapacitated or pass away.

Assets Included in an Estate Plan

Estate plans are composed of all of a person’s assets, which can include the following:

  • Your home and its furnishings
  • Your vehicle
  • Any other real estate you own
  • Your bank accounts
  • Your retirement accounts
  • Your life insurance policies
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Hard to value assets, such as collectibles (stamps, paintings, etc.)
  • Your personal possessions, including any items of uniquely personal value to you and your loved ones (such as family heirlooms)

Creating the right estate plan for you requires a solid understanding of your estate, and the experienced estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe law can help answer your questions and ensure your legal and financial wishes are carried out with respect to your assets.

Considering Your Estate Plan

While your estate plan is likely to include a Last Will and Testament (will) that can identify which properties will go to whom upon your death, there may be far more to your estate plan than just a will.

Your estate plan may also address who you want your assets to flow to and when you want them to be distributed – in addition to other important decision-making concerns – all while keeping the tax implications for your loved ones as low as possible. Consider all the following potential elements of your estate plan (in addition to the basics):

  • Addressing the matter of a guardian for your minor children and the matter of their inheritance
  • Providing for any family members with special needs (while ensuring this does not disqualify them for government benefits)
  • Providing for loved ones who may be less financially savvy and/or who may be vulnerable to debtors and/or to divorce
  • Setting up instructions regarding who will be making your healthcare and/or financial decisions in the event you are incapacitated (known as power of attorney)
  • Setting up the transfer of your business upon your retirement, disability, incapacity, or death
  • Ensuring that the tax expenses, court costs, and legal fees associated with your estate plans are minimized

If a person does not establish an estate plan, their assets will be distributed according to the state’s intestate laws. In these cases, there is no certainty that the wishes of the deceased will be carried out. A well-prepared estate plan carefully delineates your intentions in a manner that leaves no room for questions, misunderstandings, or mysteries – by the most tax-advantageous means possible – when the time comes for your plans to be implemented.

Common Legal Documents Included in an Estate Plan

What is an estate plan? The answer is different for every individual. Some of the common legal documents included in an estate plan include the following:  

Last Will and Testament

Your will is a legal document that outlines your last wishes as they relate to your estate (or assets). If you have a will, your estate will go through the probate process.

Trust

A trust is a legal tool that allows you to hold assets in a trust fund – to be distributed to your assigned beneficiaries via a third-party who is known as the trustee. There are different types of trusts including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, gun trusts, and special needs trusts.

Guardianship

Guardianship refers to assigning a guardian for your minor children in the unlikely event that they are left without either parent. Guardianship is typically addressed in one’s will.

Financial and Durable Powers of Attorney

Your financial power of attorney is a legal document that grants someone else the power to make financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. A durable power of attorney, on the other hand, is a legal document that grants another person to make decisions on your behalf as they relate to issues that do not involve your finances or health care.

Advance Healthcare Directive

An advance healthcare directive (AHCD) consists of both your living will (which allows you to specify your end-of-life medical preferences) and your medical power of attorney (which allows you to designate someone whom you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so).

Turn to an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney for the Legal Guidance You Need

What is estate planning? The question is complex, and the answer will be different for every individual. The trusted Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC are prepared to answer your questions and to help you through this process. Your estate plan represents your legacy, and we want to partner with you to ensure your wishes are carried out accurately. For more information about how we can help, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.

 

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

What is a Revocable Living Trust?

How does a revocable living trust work? This question is an important matter that you can discuss with the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC, as soon as a potential need arises. If the question of how living trusts work in Texas is on your mind, you may feel overwhelmed. A revocable living trust, or living trust, is a legal document created during a person’s lifetime that permits a chosen trustee to manage that individual’s assets to benefit the current and future beneficiaries.

The dedicated Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753) recognize just how serious questions related to living trusts are. Our team is committed to finding answers that work for you or your loved one who may need a living trust.

How Does a Revocable Living Trust Work?

Most people think of a last will and testament as the most common way to pass an estate on to beneficiaries. Another way is to create a revocable living trust. Depending on your particular circumstances, a revocable living trust may be the best choice for your estate plan.

To create a revocable living trust, a person (the grantor) signs a trust agreement naming a person(s), a corporation, or both as trustee to manage the trust. In Texas, the grantor and the trustee can be the same person. If you name a trust company or bank as trustee–instead of an individual, it ensures that a professional trustee will always be available to act in the best interest of a grantor.

A revocable living trust usually allows property to be managed for the grantor’s benefit. Usually, the grantor retains certain rights over the trust during their lifetime, including:

  • the ability to direct the trustee to give away all or any portion of the trust property;
  • the ability to revoke or change the living trust whenever they want;
  • the ability to make discretionary distributions of income and principal to the grantor and/or the grantor’s family

A revocable living trust acts as a last will and testament when a grantor dies, and property is distributed to beneficiaries following the trust document.

Generally, it’s best to fund the trust while the grantor is living, rather than when the grantor dies; that ensures continuity of asset management and financial support, should the grantor face a disability.

To fund a trust during a grantor’s lifetime, you must title real property, securities, and other assets in the name of the trust. Retitling property is not required for trusts funded at death when the probate estate is “poured over” into the trust. However, funding a trust at death may not avoid the necessity of probate.

Benefits of Revocable Living Trusts

1. Continuity of Management During a Disability

A revocable living trust is a great way to plan for your property to be used for your benefit– if you become mentally or physically incapable of managing your affairs.

The continuity of management is possible when a financial power of attorney is signed. Still, third parties (banks, brokers, and transfer agents) often have more trouble dealing with a power of attorney than a trust agreement. And, if the designated agent cannot act, a financial power of attorney will not be helpful.

Suppose you become disabled and don’t have a revocable living trust or a power of attorney. In that case, you may face a lengthy and expensive court proceeding to appoint a guardian for you before your property can be used for you (or your family).

Even after a guardian is named, ongoing court supervision for managing investments and disbursements is usually required.

2.  Flexibility

With a revocable living trust, out-of-state individuals or trust companies can administer your property at death if you choose. Also, it is usually easier to make changes to a revocable living trust than to a will.

3.  Avoiding probate

Probate is the court process required to determine whether a last will and testament are valid. Because probate can be costly and time-consuming, avoiding probate is one of the benefits of a revocable living trust. For example, if you have homes in more than one state, avoiding probate may be a significant benefit because you can avoid more than one probate proceeding. However, every state has a different probate process, so consult a local attorney.

4.  Immediate Availability of Assets at Death

Revocable living trust assets are available immediately after death to pay estate taxes, administration expenses, and debts without waiting for a probate court decree. If the trust is funded before death, the property in the trust remains in the trustee’s name before and after the death. It is immediately available for liquidation should the need arise.

5.  No Issue with Missing or Destroyed Originals

Original wills must be provided in court to avoid the suspicion that the will was revoked. Usually, one original must be produced at death. Because revocable living trusts avoid probate, many originals may be signed, and one original can validate property held in the trust at death. A revocable living trust can simplify property transfer at death if the original will cannot be found or is destroyed.

6.  No Interference with Investment Management

A primary benefit of revocable living trusts is providing uninterrupted investment management should the grantor become disabled and after the grantor dies. If you previously transferred assets to the trust, you don’t need to retitle securities after death. Additionally, depending on the grantor’s estate’s cash needs and investment objectives, there may be no need to create a new investment strategy.

Disadvantages of Revocable Living Trusts

A few disadvantages to revocable living trusts arise from the different treatment of trusts and wills under specific property laws.

1.  Funding Your Trust

In addition to creating your trust, you must take action to fund it. You must change beneficiary designations on accounts owned by the grantor. You must change your property to a trust’s name to include it in a revocable living trust, which may be difficult and involve costs like filing fees. As part of your estate plan, using a pour-over will transfer all additional assets into your revocable trust, so no assets have to go through probate.

2.  Adapting to Changed Circumstances

The grantor must be sure to update the provisions of a revocable living trust as things change.

SEEK THE PROFESSIONAL LEGAL GUIDANCE OF AN EXPERIENCED ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY

Trusts are very complex. If you have concerns about how trusts work, seeking professional legal counsel is well-advised. The experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC understand your cares and are dedicated to helping you find the most suitable path forward, given your circumstances. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.

Estate Planning For Second Marriages

Estate Planning For Second Marriages

Estate Planning For Second Marriages

Estate planning for second marriages is often more complicated than estate planning in general. However, the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC have an impressive track record of helping clients like you successfully resolve their estate planning concerns.

As you move forward with your life, develop your career, and begin a family, estate planning is an important tool for protecting your legacy and for helping to ensure your continued support of your loved ones. Estate planning is essential to ensure your legal and financial rights are protected. If you are preparing to enter a second marriage –or have already married for a second time –the matter is likely to be that much more important. If you need professional legal guidance with estate planning for second marriages, the experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753) have the legal insight, experience, and focus to help.

Critical Considerations for Second Marriages

If you are facing the issue of estate planning for second marriages, there are several vital matters to keep in mind as you move forward toward either updating your estate planning or melding your efforts with your spouse-to-be into an entirely new joint estate plan. Some of the considerations you will need to keep at the forefront as you move forward in the process include:

  • The inheritance of your children who were born before your second marriage
  • The inheritance of any children who may come from your second marriage
  • Those assets that you and your spouse will continue to own as separate property
  • Any assets that will be retitled in both of your names, such as bank accounts, your home’s mortgage, and more
  • Any edits required on current estate planning tools, such as powers of attorney, trusts, and/or advance directives in Texas.

Before a first marriage, you are much less likely to have built up considerable financial wealth or have children already. Because these factors tend to guide estate planning, they naturally complicate the evolution of your estate planning within a second marriage. The optimal time to discuss these matters is before remarriage. This can also help you determine if a prenuptial agreement may be in order (depending upon how much distance there is between what you are looking for in your estate plan and what your soon-to-be spouse is looking for). If you have already married for a second time, you should not delay addressing the matter of your estate plan.

Children, Second Marriages, and Estate Planning

One of the most important concerns about estate planning for second marriages is that your children naturally want to protect their inheritance. If your new spouse also has children, the matter of their position in your estate plan may also become an issue. Further, if any of the children are minors, you will also need to address who will manage their inherited assets upon you or your spouse’s death.

If you have already established a Last Will and Testament (will) or trust for your children, you will need to determine how this element of your estate plan could affect your new spouse’s inheritance and whether it is in keeping with your wishes on the matter. This often amounts to balancing the preservation of your children’s inheritance with the share of your estate that you wish your spouse to retain. If you are considering having another child or having more children within the second marriage, you will have the inheritance of both sets of children to consider. The challenges of estate planning for second marriages are considerable, but the dedicated Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can help you understand all of your legal options.

Understanding Beneficiary Designations

Because they forego probate, beneficiary designations are a powerful estate planning tool that allows the specific element of your estate to flow directly to the recipient whom you designate. Upon remarriage, it is important to carefully consider all of your beneficiary accounts to ensure they are designated appropriately in light of your new marriage. Such accounts can include:

  • Your 40l(k) and other retirement accounts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Annuities

It is also important to consider how your real estate and bank accounts are titled. Because the choices you make toward this end can have profound effects, working closely with an experienced estate planning attorney is always well advised. For example, designating your second spouse as a joint tenant with the right of survivorship to your home is convenient to tie up loose ends. Still, it also entitles your spouse to full ownership upon your death –regardless of how your estate plan is arranged, including the distribution of your assets (according to your wishes).

Consequences of the Failure To Create an Estate Plan

In the State of Texas, if you die during a second marriage, have children from a prior marriage, and have no estate plan, your assets will be distributed as follows (per the state’s laws of intestacy):

  • Your spouse will be entitled to one-half of your marital property (those assets that you both acquired throughout your marriage), to one-third of your separate property, and to use of your real estate for life.
  • Your children will be entitled to everything else.

An important point to note here is that keeping separate property separate throughout the years of marriage is challenging. If you do not put considerable effort into the distinction, property that you may consider separate could be deemed marital in the eyes of the law. In other words, without an estate plan in place, your children’s inheritance could be considerably smaller than you anticipated.

Consider Consulting with an Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney

If you are preparing to remarry, you are naturally looking forward to a new beginning, but it is also important to consider the financial legacy you have already begun. Marriage is often a trigger for estate planning, but if the marriage is your second, the need for solid estate planning is paramount. The experienced Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC have a wealth of impressive experience successfully guiding estate planning for second marriages, and we are here for you, too. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 today.

What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?

What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?

What Does Medical Power of Attorney in Texas Mean?

Obtaining a medical power of attorney in Texas is an important concern that a dedicated estate planning attorney at Ibekwe Law, PLLC can help you effectively and efficiently resolve. Power of attorney is an important concept when it comes to estate planning. When your finances are involved, power of attorney (POA) refers to the agent you choose to handle your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. However, medical power of attorney (Medical POA), on the other hand, refers to a specific advance directive (which means that it is created in advance of its need) that provides you with a straightforward mechanism for naming someone whom you trust implicitly to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so for yourself. If you are interested in learning more, such as how to get a medical power of attorney in Texas, reach out to the dedicated Texas estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC (512-505-2753) today.

How Do I Choose the Right Medical Power of Attorney for Me?

Choosing the right Medical POA for you is a very personal decision. You will need to give it the careful consideration it deserves if you decide to put it in your Last Will and Testament in the state of Texas. For some people, it is an obvious choice, such as a spouse of many years, but there are a variety of factors to ponder upon, including:

  • It is essential to choose someone you trust entirely, including trusting them to carry out your wishes regarding your medical care.
  • It is vital to choose someone who understands your thinking and knows your wishes regarding the medical care you receive (if you have strong opinions about what you do or do not want in terms of medical procedures and treatments –perhaps related to your religious beliefs –it is critical that your agent understands your reasoning and is willing to stay the course).
  • It is crucial to choose someone who knows your values and your religious and moral beliefs and is capable of and comfortable with making medical decisions on your behalf that align with these beliefs and values.

Finding the right person to become the agent of your medical POA can be a challenge –especially because a loved one, such as your spouse, may not be comfortable making decisions that do not comport with their desire to keep you alive at all costs (regardless of whether or not this decision aligns with your wishes). This can be a lot to ask of a loved one and needs to be given the careful consideration it requires.

Who Cannot Be Your Power of Attorney?

Any competent adult can serve in the role as an agent for a medical power of attorney –with a few specific exceptions (that are in place for your protection), including:

  • Your doctor or healthcare provider
  • An employee of your doctor or healthcare provider (unless the person is a relative of yours)
  • Your residential healthcare providers, such as at your nursing home or assisted living facility
  • An employee of your residential healthcare provider (unless the employee is s relative of yours)

When Does a Medical Power Attorney Go into Effect?

Many people are nervous about naming a medical POA because they have concerns that the decision-making power attached could be implemented in a less-than-careful manner –as if you are handing over the reins to your health care somewhat arbitrarily.

To step in and begin making healthcare decisions on your behalf, your agent will need to have your doctor’s opinion (in writing) that you are not able to make these decisions for yourself, and this decision-making power only remains in effect throughout your incapacitation. Your doctor has the power to revoke the Medical POA at any time (based on your evolving condition). In other words, the process is carefully monitored and is set up to help ensure that your wishes regarding your health are carried out (in the event you are incapable of ensuring this).

How to Get a Medical Power of Attorney in Texas

The basic steps for obtaining a medical POA in Texas are pretty straightforward, including:

  • Decide that a medical POA is the right choice for you
  • Download, fill out, complete, and print out the Medical Power of Attorney Designation of Health Care Agent form
  • Gather two witnesses (one of whom cannot be your agent, a relative of yours, your doctor, or a beneficiary of yours) and have the medical POA form notarized.

It is important to note that it is always in your best interest to involve a dedicated estate planning attorney in the process. Your medical power of attorney is a profound legal document, and understanding the implications it can have for you and your family if you are unable to make medical decisions on your own is too significant to leave to chance.

An Experienced Texas Estate Planning Attorney Can Help With Your Medical Power of Attorney in Texas

Taking care of your estate planning needs is an essential component of protecting your family and cementing your legacy. A critical piece in the puzzle is establishing your medical power of attorney. If you are ready to address the issue of how to get a medical power of attorney in Texas, consider reaching out to the experienced estate planning attorneys at Ibekwe Law, PLLC. We help clients like you achieve the peace of mind that comes from successfully addressing their medical power of attorney needs. We are here for you, too, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 512-505-2753 for more information today.