An advanced directive, also known as a living will, provides your doctors and other caregivers instructions for what type of end-of-life medical treatments you do or do not want if you become unable to give those instructions yourself. These instructions can include do not resuscitate orders and instructions on organ donations. Creating these documents now will help ensure your wishes are carried out and prevent potential problems for your loved ones.

Living wills typically cover:

  • Resuscitation, such as CPR or an electric shock to the heart
  • Breathing machines
  • Tube feeding
  • Dialysis
  • Medicine
  • Palliative care
  • Organ donations

How living wills work in Texas

For a living will to be valid, the following conditions must be met:

  • You (the declarant) must be a competent state
  • You need two witnesses
  • The directive may be oral with 2 witnesses and an attending physician
  • Written directive will become part of your medical record; if oral, witnesses will have to sign medical records
  • Living wills are “not operative for pregnant patients”

Living wills are revocable at any time, regardless of your mental state and/or competency. Moreover, revocation by you, the declarant, or someone in presence destroying the living will document. You may also sign and date or orally state your intent to revoke your living will. Revocation takes effect when (a) when the document of intent to revoke your living will is delivered or mailed to attending physician or (b) when the physician is notified of an oral revocation.

Living wills are in effect until you decide to revoke it. Additional legal conditions apply for living wills; it is best you contact Rashelle Fetty and the Fetty Firm for further information.

Why you need a living will

Living wills are important because it is the key document that states your medical wishes. Rather than having your spouse make a life-or-death decision on your behalf, they would honor your wishes as expressed in the living will.

The Law Office of Rashelle Fetty can assist you with your living will. The Fetty Firm will advise you of current Texas law regarding health care decisions.

Other considerations

In addition, Rashelle can help you look at your existing living will. It is recommended that you review your living will every 2 to 3 years. Life changes such as relocation, health, finances, relationships, or a change of heart may be reason for you to change your living will. Moreover, new technology in the medical field that may lead to better health outcomes could also influence your decision to amend your living will.

When you need an experienced and caring estate planning lawyer serving Fort Worth and all of North Texas, contact the Fetty Firm, P.C.