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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled---2023-08-28T121031.056.jpgA living will, also known as an advance healthcare directive, is a legal document that allows people to set down their wishes for the medical treatment they should receive if they become unable to communicate or make decisions for themselves. While people of all ages may create a living will, these documents can be crucial for elders who may be facing age-related health issues. When deciding whether to include a living will in their estate plan, elders and their families can work with an attorney to learn about their options.

The Importance of Planning Ahead

As a person ages, their health can become more unpredictable. It is not uncommon for older adults to experience serious illnesses or injuries that require medical intervention. By creating a living will ahead of time, elders can ensure that their wishes will be respected and followed when it comes to their healthcare.

Without a living will, family members and healthcare providers may be left guessing about what the elder would want in certain situations. This can lead to disagreements among loved ones and unnecessary stress during already difficult times.


san antonio estate planning lawyerCreating a last will and testament is an important step in preparing for the future, and it is a crucial component of estate planning. However, for many elders, creating a will can be a difficult task due to the complexity of the process and the gravity of the decisions that need to be made. It is important to approach these issues the right way, and by fully considering the details that will be included in their will, a person can help their family avoid confusion about what they would have wanted and make sure their wishes will be followed correctly after they are gone.

Essential Information to Include in a Will

When creating a will, there are some pieces of information that will need to be included. Fully detailing all issues related to the estate of the testator (the person creating the will) can help prevent disputes between family members and ensure that all of a person's final affairs will be handled correctly. Information provided in a will may include:

  • The testator's personal information, including their name and address


san antonio estate planning lawyerAs a person ages, they may require extra care and support. If you are the family member of an elder who needs assistance, you may be wondering how to provide them with the best possible care. One option is to set up a living trust as part of the estate planning process. Living trusts can help ensure that an elderly parent or other family member has access to the resources they need as they age. Although the process of setting up a living trust can seem complicated at first, there are many benefits that come with having one in place. 

What Is a Living Trust? 

A living trust is an estate planning tool that allows individuals to use their assets to meet their needs while they are alive and well, while also specifying who will receive those assets after they die. With a revocable living trust, the settlor (the person creating the trust) has the right to revoke or change the terms of the trust at any time during their lifetime. A living trust allows a person to transfer control of their assets—such as property, investments, and financial accounts—to another person in order to provide for their needs. The trustee (the person who manages the trust) will have full control over these assets and can use them as necessary in order to meet the elder’s financial needs. 

Benefits of Establishing a Living Trust 

Living trusts offer numerous benefits for elders and their families. They can provide peace of mind by allowing family members to know that their elderly loved ones are being taken care of financially without having to worry about managing their finances directly. Since living trusts are usually revocable, their terms can be adjusted if a person's needs change. They may also allow a person to begin transferring assets to other beneficiaries at any time, either before or after their death.


san antonio estate planning lawyerWhen a person reaches an advanced age, they will want to make sure their needs will be met and that they will receive the proper medical care if they cannot make decisions for themselves. These issues can be addressed through advance directives, which are an important part of estate planning for elders. Advance directives are legal documents that allow a person to specify their wishes for medical treatment and end-of-life care in the event that they become incapacitated and are unable to communicate their wishes to others.

Types of Advance Directives Addressed in Texas Law

There are several types of advance directives that can be included in a Texas estate plan, including:

  • Medical Power of Attorney - This document will designate someone who will be authorized to make healthcare decisions on behalf of an elder in the event that they become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for themselves. This person is known as a healthcare agent. The agent can consent to or refuse medical treatment on an elder's behalf, including life-sustaining treatment. An elder can give their agent as much or as little power as they want, and they can specify what types of treatments the agent can and cannot consent to or refuse. 


san Antonio estate planning lawyerA last will and testament can be a crucial aspect of estate planning. A person's will details how their assets should be distributed among their heirs after their death, and it may allow for different items to be allocated to people such as their spouse, children, or other relatives or people who are important to them. However, some may believe that having a will is not necessary because they do not own extensive assets, and they may expect their property to simply be divided among their close family members. It is important to understand how the distribution of assets would be handled in these situations. This can illustrate the importance of creating a will that will help a family avoid uncertainty or legal disputes about how assets should be divided.

Intestate Succession in Texas

If a person dies without a will in Texas, their assets will go to their closest living relatives through a process called intestate succession. In Texas, the laws of intestate succession are somewhat complex, and they may differ depending on whether a person was married or single, whether they had any children, or whether they were survived by parents or siblings. 

If a person was married, their spouse will usually assume full ownership of any community property the couple owned together. However, if the person had children with someone other than their spouse, the spouse will retain ownership of half of the community property, and the other half of the community property will go to those children. 

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