address14603 Huebner Rd., Bldg. 32, San Antonio, TX 78230

Call Us for a Free Consultation

Call us210-535-0870

Estate Planning Documents You Will Need During Your Lifetime

Posted on in Estate Planning and Probate

San Antonio incapacity planning lawyerMost people think of estate planning as something that will only come into play after they have passed away. However, the part of estate planning that mostly matters after you are gone - testamentary planning - is only part of what a comprehensive estate plan can do. The other side of estate planning, known as “incapacity planning,” actually controls what will happen during your end-of-life phase. While it may not be a pleasant thought to confront, the vast majority of us will not be fully-functioning independent adults one moment and gone the next. Most people experience a period later in life where they cannot make sound decisions for themselves. In that event, a well-made incapacity plan will control much of your care. You are the best person to make decisions for yourself, and you can do so by taking the time now to make critical decisions about your own future care. 

The Documents You Need to Create Now to Protect Your Future Self

Ask any nurse who has spent significant time doing bedside care in a hospital setting, and they will tell you just how important documents like a living will are. When a loved one has lost the mental capacity to make their own decisions and becomes ill, families often make rash and emotional decisions. Failing to do incapacity planning can lead to more family conflict and the use of “heroic measures” to prolong the life of a person who is terminally ill and unaware of their situation. 

Documents that everyone should have in place to prevent this type of situation include: 

  • Living will - Your living will is your voice in the event that you are terminally ill and unable to communicate your own wishes. If you were suffering from advanced dementia and also terminal cancer, would you want to go through chemo? Would you accept major surgery that you may or may not survive? Would you want to be kept alive by artificial means if you were in a permanent vegetative state? These are very personal decisions. 
  • Powers of attorney - When you cannot make decisions for yourself, someone else will need to make them for you. A power of attorney lets you choose those people. You can use separate powers of attorney for medical decision-making and financial decision-making. You can limit the powers of your chosen individuals. Make sure you speak with them about what your wishes would be. You can also set them up so that these documents have no effect until you have been deemed incapacitated. 

There are other types of advance medical directives, such as Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, that you may want only if you are already elderly or in poor health. You may want to speak with a doctor as well as a lawyer before making these important decisions. 

Speak With a Texas Estate Planning Attorney

Geoff Mayfield, Attorney at Law can help you keep major decisions about your future care in your hands. Our experienced Comal County estate planning lawyers will help ensure that you have all the documents you need in place. Call 210-535-0870 for a free consultation. 



Back to Top