Frequently Asked Questions About Powers of Attorney and Directives

Can Life Support Be Withheld If A Patient Has Not Signed A Directive To Physicians?

Most Americans have not executed basic estate planning documents. Studies show that more than half of Americans have not executed a basic will, and even fewer have executed durable powers of attorney and medical powers of attorney, and directive to physicians. So, what happens if someone suffers a catastrophic injury or illness and is on … Read More

Can I Appoint My Own Guardian In Case I Become Incapacitated?

A power of attorney can generally eliminate the need for a guardianship; however, a guardian may sometimes be required despite having a medical power of attorney and durable power of attorney. For example, there are occasions when financial institutions reject a power of attorney; a person appointed as agent becomes incapacitated or dies, and no … Read More

Would You Like a Power of Attorney with that Diploma?

It’s that time of year again. High school seniors are preparing to graduate and head off to college, and parents are wondering how it’s possible that their children are all grown up! It’s a milestone that highlights how quickly the years pass. I know. My son will be graduating next year, and I am already … Read More

Can I Authorize a Relative to Make Medical Decisions for my Minor Child?

I recently received a note from concerned grandparents. Their daughter had died, and their son- in-law worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, and was often away on business trips for weeks at a time. They took care of their grandchildren in their father’s absence, but were concerned they would not have the authority … Read More

Is an Advance Directive Signed In Another State Valid in Texas?

A living will, or directive to physicians, is a document that allows you to instruct your physicians not to use artificial methods to extend your life in the event you are diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition. A question I often get asked is whether an advice directive signed in another state is considered … Read More

Can I Get Medical Power of Attorney Over an Incapacitated Person?

A distraught mother contacted me. Her daughter was incapacitated in an intensive care unit as a result of a drug overdose, and her drug-addicted son-in-law was in control of making medical decisions for her. Naturally she was concerned. She did not believe her son-in-law had the capacity to consider her daughter’s best interests. “How do … Read More