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

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Dallas Bar Association (DBA) and Dallas Volunteer Attorneys Program have put together some videos here explaining the basic estate planning documents. 

The DBA posted these materials with emergency responders such as law enforcement, firefighters, and medical professionals, but they could be used by anyone.
 
From the DBA: 
 

Thank You

The lawyers of the Dallas Bar Association offer, for free and without any cost to you, this dedicated webpage with easy access to these basic planning forms as our sincerest thanks from the DBA, their families, neighbors, colleagues and friends to all of our first responders and those health care workers and others supporting them who are on the front line of this war against the COVID-19 pandemic. We know you are taking risks and working long hours in this battle on our behalf to keep us safe. We are ever mindful and grateful for your sacrifice. While we certainly pray for your safety, we know you may have concerns about your own planning for your family and wish to help relieve any undue stress that may be causing you and your loved ones. Feel free to share this webpage and spread the word among your colleagues so they can also benefit from these forms and resources.

 

Planning Forms
 
You may wish to print, complete and sign to put your affairs in order as needed to give you some peace of mind. Most of the forms provided are derived from statutory versions passed by the Texas legislature, but access to the forms presented resulted from sources to whom credit was given on the webpage, for which [Dallas Bar Association is] also most grateful. The webpage provides:
 
  • planning forms for your signature;
  • summaries of the forms;
  • additional lawyer video explanations; and
  • an article explaining how to successfully complete and execute the forms.  
Also, volunteer probate lawyers from the Probate Trusts and Estates Section of the Dallas Bar Association will be available, for free, to answer questions you may have in conference calls arranged for two days per week as noted on the webpage, for as long as this crisis continues. While these measures are not individual legal advice and cannot compare to individually designed planning through direct consultation with your own lawyer, [the Dallas Bar Association hopes] these forms and resources will help you quickly settle these matters for yourself and your family until you can otherwise arrange for such planning.
 

Medical Power of Attorney

Medical Power of Attorney

Video - Attorney Explanation of Medical Power of Attorney Form (Rebekah Brooker) 

Description:  Statutory Form used to name an agent to make medical treatment decisions for you, should you later become incapacitated. Can avoid the need for a Guardian of the Person. Signing: Requires two adult witnesses (one of whom must be qualified) or a notary. 

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

 

Directive to Physicians/Living Will

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.

 

HIPAA Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information

HIPAA Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information


Video - Attorney Explanation of HIPPA Authorization (Rebekah Brooker)

Description:  Authorizes your health providers to release your Private Health Information to designated persons in compliance with federal HIPAA requirements. Signing: Requires only your signature. 

Form provided compliments of the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program of Legal Aid of Northwest Texas

 

Statutory Durable Power of Attorney

Statutory Durable Power of Attorney 

Video - Attorney Explanation of Statutory Durable Power of Attorney (Greg Sampson) 

Description:  Names an agent or agents to handle your property and financial affairs, which can be effective upon signing or only upon becoming incapacitated and allows you to grant specific or all statutory defined powers. Can avoid a Guardian of the Estate. Signing: Requires a Notary. 

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

 

Declaration of Guardian if Later Need Arises

Declaration of Guardian if Later Need Arises 

Video - Attorney Explanation of Declaration of Guardian if Later Need Arises (Greg Sampson)

Description: Allows you to name a guardian of your person and/or guardian of your estate for the court to appoint if you later become incapacitated and to disqualify certain persons form serving as your guardian. May not be needed if you have a Medical Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney. 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. Witnesses required when naming disqualified persons, otherwise may only need a notary. Form document from the Texas Guardianship Manual 4th Edition provided compliments of TexasBarBooks

 

Declaration of Guardian for Children

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.

 

Handwritten (Holographic) Will Instructions

Handwritten (Holographic) Will Instructions 

Video - Attorney Explanation on how to draft a Holographic Will (Jack Fan)

Instructions and sample language for a very simple handwritten will that requires only the signature of the testator if entirely in the testator’s handwriting. Intended as an emergency measure for use until a more comprehensive Will can be prepared by a lawyer. Provided by the Houston Volunteer Lawyers program.

 

What Estate Planning Documents Accomplish

Click here for an article summarizing the law and what each of these planning documents and others accomplish: End of Life Documents, Technical Report 2044, Authored by Judon Fambrough, Senior Lecturer and Attorney at Law (Retired), for Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, January 2014 (Revised February 2016) – Links to documents updated 2020 by Dallas Bar Association. [Provided with Permission of Real Estate Center at Texas A&M  – www.recenter.tamu.edu]