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Estate Planning and COVID-19

"Estate planning" is an umbrella term for planning what happens to your estate and family in advance of your death.  Learn more at Estate Planning: Planning Who Gets Your Property (by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid). Estate planning can include planning for what happens if you become incapacitated. 

Click here for an article summarizing the law and what each of these planning documents and others accomplishes.

TexasLawHelp and other organizations have made materials available to help you prepare as much as you can during the pandemic. See TexasLawHelp's main wills and estate planning page.

Use the Legal Help Finder tool or a lawyer referral service to help you find a lawyer to draw up documents for you.

 

 

Wills

This do-it-yourself guide has been created in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting limits on people's ability to meet with attorneys and others.

You can also watch this video by Legal Aid of Northwest Texas: When and How to Do a Handwritten Will.

 

Transfer on Death Deeds

TexasLawHelp offers information and forms for transfer on death deeds

 

Supported Decision Making Agreements

See I am looking for an alternative to guardianship.

Supported decision-making lets you make your own decisions and stay in charge of your life, while getting the help and assistance you need to do so. All people need and use support to make important life decisions. Even if a person with a disability needs extra help to make significant life decisions, their right to make their own choices should not be taken away. Using a supported decision-making agreement, a person with a disability chooses someone they trust to serve as their supporter.

Under a supported decision-making agreement, the supporter CAN help a person with a disability:

  • Understand the options, responsibilities, and consequences of their decisions.
  • Obtain and understand information relevant to their decisions.
  • Communicate their decisions to the appropriate people.

Under a supported decision-making agreement, the supporter CANNOT make a decision for a person with a disability. 

TexasLawHelp offers checklist to help set up supported decisionmaking.

 

 

Directive to Physicians/Living Will

From Estate Planning for Police, Fire, and Medical Personnel (Dallas Bar Association)

Directive to Physicians/Living Will

Video - Attorney Explanation of Directive to Physician Form (Rebekah Brooker)

Description:  Statutory form used to specify whether life support will be withheld or withdrawn when you are incapacitated and are in a “terminal condition” or an “irreversible condition.” Can avoid the need for a guardian of the person if an agent is named. Signing: Requires two adult witnesses (one of whom must be qualified) or a notary. 

Form document derived from the Texas Guardianship Manual 4th Edition provided compliments of TexasBarBooks.

 

Declaration of Guardian for Children

Video - Attorney Explanation of Declaration of Guardian for Children (Greg Sampson)

Description: Allows you to name a guardian of the person and/or guardian of the estate (if any) for a minor child or incapacitated adult child for the court to appoint if you are deceased or incapacitated.  Appointment can also be made in a valid Will to take effect upon your death. The remaining parent is a natural guardian of the person. Signing: May be entirely handwritten by you and signed without witnesses, or typed and signed with two witnesses, and may also be self-proved with a notary. Form document from the Texas Guardianship Manual 4th Edition provided compliments of TexasBarBooks.

When and How to Do a Handwritten Will - LANWT video

See Legal Aid of Northwest Texas' video: When and How to Do a Handwritten Will